Knowing how to write, say and ask the date in Spanish is a fundamental skill that you’ll frequently use if you live and work in a Spanish-speaking country.
As a beginner, this is one of the first things you’ll learn.
However, it’s common to get tripped up on the correct way to form Spanish dates, so I’ll clarify it for you in this guide.
Learn how to write, say and ask the date in Spanish here.
How to ask for the date in Spanish
If you’ve forgotten today’s date and need to ask someone what it is, there’s one question that you’ll need to remember:
¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy?
You may approach someone using the word disculpe (if you don’t know the person) or disculpa if you do know the person, and use this question to find out the date.
Keep reading to learn how to say or write the date in response to this question.
Essential vocabulary and phrases related to writing and saying the date in Spanish
Before we get started, here are some essential vocabulary and phrases related to writing and saying the date in Spanish for complete beginners.
|English word||Spanish word|
|The date||La fecha|
|The days of the week||Los días de la semana|
|The months of the year||Los meses del año|
|Weekend||El fin de semana|
|What is the date today?||¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy?|
|Today is the…||Hoy es el…|
Using days of the week for Spanish dates
When you write the date in Spanish, remember that you should not capitalise the first letter of the day of the week.
Here are the Spanish days of the week or días de la semana and how you should write them:
|English day of the week||Spanish day of the week|
To say “on [day of the week]”, don’t use the preposition en. Just use el or los.
So, instead of en los martes, jugamos futbol make sure you omit the en to sound like a native speaker (los martes jugamos futbol).
El martes, voy a hacer mis deberes.
Voy al club de fútbol los domingos.
Using months of the year for Spanish dates
When writing the date in Spanish, you also do not need to capitalize the first letter of the month of the year.
Here are all 12 months of the year in Spanish and how you should write them:
|English month of the year||Spanish month of the year|
To say “in [month],” use the preposition en.
En mayo, voy a empezar a estudiar.
How are Spanish dates (fechas) different from English ones?
The main difference between Spanish fechas and English dates is that while you use a cardinal number when writing and saying the date in Spanish, you use an ordinal number in English.
This difference means you use ordinal numbers such as 1st, 2nd or 3rd and so on for English dates, but 1, 2, 3 and so on for Spanish dates.
El 2 de mayo 2023
Writing the date in Spanish using numbers
Say you’re filling out a form and need to record today’s date using numbers.
The easiest way to remember the format is to keep in mind that the day comes first, then the month and finally, the year. This format is unlike the format you use if you use American English, but the same as the British English format.
- August 16, 1991 – 16/08/1991
- May 24, 1984 – 24/05/1984
- August 30, 1968 – 30/08/1968
Writing and saying the date using days of the week and month of the year
You have the option to say or write out the month using letters if you are writing the date in a more formal situation.
The formula you may use to help you remember the structure you require for this option is:
Hoy + es + el + [day of the week] + de + [month of the year]
If you are signing an official document, the form may require you to spell the month using letters.
Hoy es el 11 de enero
Hoy es el 25 de diciembre
Hoy es el 6 de noviembre
Using el primero to write or state the first day of the month
In Spanish, we use the ordinal phrase el primero when stating the first day of the month. If you want to say “January first”, you may say el primero de enero.
If you want to write “February first”, you may write:
- Es el primero de febrero
Pronouncing el primero to state the first day of the month
If you are telling someone that an important event is happening on the first of February, you may be wondering how to pronounce this date. Here is a phonetic representation of how to pronounce el primero:
- How to write it: Es el primero de febrero
- How to pronounce it: Ehs el prih-mer-oh deh feb-rer-oh
Adding the year when stating the date
If you need to specify which year you are talking about, use the following formula (which you will notice adds the preposition de and the year to end of our earlier formula):
Hoy + es + el + [day of the week] + de + [month of the year] + de + [year]
Hoy es el 11 de enero de 2020
Hoy es el 31 de diciembre de 1992
Hoy es el 5 de noviembre de 1933
Saying the date in full in Spanish
So how do you say the date in full in Spanish?
Remember, the key components when saying the date in Spanish include the day of the week, the date of the month, the month and the year.
- Hoy es martes, el 10 de enero de 2023
- Hoy es martes, el 16 de agosto de 2022
- Ayer fue el lunes, el 9 de enero de 2023
- Ayer fue el lunes, el 15 de agosto de 2022
Writing, saying and asking the date in Spanish
Learning how to write, say and ask the date in Spanish may seem complicated, but remember the formulas in this article, and you’ll have less trouble.
Don’t forget that the American format for writing the date is not the same as the Spanish format, and never capitalize the month of the year or day of the week.
Practice writing, saying and asking the date in Spanish to remember the critical structures and get it perfect.