Expressing dates in Spanish

Dates in Spanish are expressed in a different way to English.

Learn about dates in Spanish

Read and listen to these examples:

7 de febrero de 1986.7th February 1986 / February 7 1986

15 de julio de 1949.15th July 1949 / July 15 1949

23 de diciembre de 200123rd December 2001/ December 23 2001

To say the date in Spanish, you need to use this structure:

numberdemonth + deyear
Don't forget de! In Spanish it is compulsory.

Article El

When the date is in a sentence that is telling you when something takes place you need the article "el" before the number.

Note that dates are always masculine, so it's never la.

Mi cumpleaños es el 14 de mayo.My birthday is the 14th of May/ May 14.

Number

The main difference between dates in English and Spanish is the numbers:

  • English dates use ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th...)
  • Spanish dates use cardinal numbers (dos, tres, cuatro, etc.) so, not segundo (2nd), tercero (3rd), cuarto (4th), etc.
  • EXCEPTION For the first day of the month, you can use both cardinal (uno) and ordinal (primero) numbers. Both are correct.
Uno de octubre / Primero de octubre1st of October / October 1

Month

In Spanish, months are never capitalised:

enero mayo septiembre
febrero junio octubre
marzo julio noviembre
abril  agosto diciembre

Year

In Spanish, years are always read as full numbers!

1789 (mil setecientos ochenta y nueve)1789 (seventeen eighty-nine)

2018 (dos mil dieciocho)2018 (twenty eighteen)

1920 (mil novecientos veinte)1920 (nineteen twenty)

1972 (mil novecientos setenta y dos)1972 (nineteen seventy-two)

You never say: diecinueve sesenta y cuatro (1964) but mil novecientos sesenta y cuatro.
Have a look at Numbers in Spanish 1 to 50

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Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Uno de octubre / Primero de octubre1st of October / October 1
1972 (mil novecientos setenta y dos)1972 (nineteen seventy-two)
2018 (dos mil dieciocho)2018 (twenty eighteen)
1920 (mil novecientos veinte)1920 (nineteen twenty)
23 de diciembre de 200123rd December 2001/ December 23 2001
7 de febrero de 1986.7th February 1986 / February 7 1986
Mi cumpleaños es el 14 de mayo.My birthday is the 14th of May/ May 14.
15 de julio de 1949.15th July 1949 / July 15 1949
1789 (mil setecientos ochenta y nueve)1789 (seventeen eighty-nine)
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