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5.9: Lesson 4 Grammar - Structure of dates

  • Page ID
    65643
  • Dates in Chinese follow the order "year, month, day." This is in keeping with the "from big to small" trend which pervades many facets of Chinese culture.

    Structure 

    Dates are arranged from largest unit to smallest: year, month, day.

       x 年 + y 月 + z 日

    So April 1st, 2019 is 2019年4月1日 (èr-líng-yī-jiǔ nián Sìyuè yī rì).

    Note that 号 (hào) is commonly used in spoken Mandarin as an alternative for 日 (rì):

       x 年 + y 月 + z 号

    The above example becomes: 2019年4月1号 (èr-líng-yī-jiǔ nián Sìyuè yī hào). In written Chinese, however, you will see 日 (rì) rather than 号 (hào).

    Examples 

    • 1868 年 1 月 18 号
      Yī-bā-liù-bā nián Yīyuè shíbā hào
      January 18, 1868
       
    • 1910 年 8 月 9 号
      Yī-jiǔ-yī-líng nián Bāyuè jiǔ hào
      August 9, 1910
       
    • 2001 年 7 月 20 日
      èr-líng-líng-yī nián Qīyuè èrshí rì
      July 20th, 2001
       
    • 1 月 1 日 是新年。
      Yīyuè yī rì shì Xīnnián.
      January 1st is New Year's Day.
       
    • 12 月 24 日是平安夜。
      Shí-èryuè èrshí-sì rì shì Píng'ān Yè.
      December 24th is Christmas Eve.
       
    • 10 月 1 号我们去上海。
      Shíyuè yī hào wǒmen qù Shànghǎi.
      We will go to Shanghai on October 1st.
       
    • 我 1990 年 7 月出生。
      Wǒ Yī-jiǔ-jiǔ-líng nián Qīyuè chūshēng.
      I was born in July 1990.
       
    • 你的生日是 11 月 11 号吗?
      Nǐ de shēngrì shì Shíyīyuè shíyī hào ma?
      Is your birthday November 11th?
       
    • 我 2006 年 4 月 17 号认识了他。
      Wǒ èr-líng-líng-liù nián Sìyuè shíqī hào rènshi le tā.
      I met him on April 17, 2006.
       
    • 1980 年 9 月 4 号我们结婚了。
      Yī-jiǔ-bā-líng nián Jiǔyuè sì hào wǒmen jiéhūn le.
      We got married on September 4th, 1980.

    [adapted from AllSet Learning Chinese Grammar Wiki, Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA 3.0]

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    Any Questions? 

    If you have any questions about this grammar point, please ask in the class forums!