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The Date in German

In this article we tell you how to form and say the date in German

Date in German

Date format

In German, dates are written with the formats:

Long format:

der 01.Februar 2009
the 1st of February, 2009

Short format:

der 01.02.2009
01 (day)/02 (month)/2009

Differences between English and German date formats:

  • The separating symbol between the month, year and day in English is the slash “/” and in German it is the period “.”
  • The months in German are written with a capital letter (Februar) like in English

Reading the date

In German the days and months are ordinal numbers but the years are cardinal.

You have to keep in mind that ordinal numbers are declined like adjectives:

example 1:

der 01.02.2009

it is read as:

der erste zweite zweitausendneun (in the nominative)

example 2:

am 01.02.2009

it is read as:

am ersten zweiten zweitausend neun (in the dative)

Reading the year

The way to read the year is different if the year is before 2000 or after:

  • If it is after the year 2000, it is read as a normal number:

    2004 is read as zweitausendvier

  • If the year is before 2000, it is read in an interesting way. We can see this better with an example:

    The year 1995 is read as neunzehnhundertfünfundneunzig

    translated literally, it would be 19 hundred 5 and 90
    The year 1900 is read simply as neunzehnhundert

Asking what the date is

This is how you as the date in German:

Welcher Tag ist heute? ... Es ist der erste Mai
What day is today? …Today is the 1st of May

or also:

Welchen Tag haben wir heute? ... Heute haben wir den ersten Mai
What day do we have? …. Today we have the 1st of May

Pay close attention to the first example. The date is in the nominative and in the second one it is in the accusative.

Units of time (Zeiteinheiten)

die Sekundesecond
die Minuteminute
die Stundehour
der Tagday
die Wocheweek
der Monatmonth
die Jahreszeitseason
das Quartal
das Vierteljahr
das Halbjahr
das Semester
das Jahryear
das Jahrzehntdecade
das Jahrhundertcentury
das Jahrtausendmillennium

Seasons of the year (die Jahreszeiten)

der Frühlingspring
der Sommersummer
der Herbstautumn
der Winterwinter

Months (Monate)

der JanuarJanuary
der FebruarFebruary
der MärzMarch
der AprilApril
der MaiMay
der JuniJune
der JuliJuly
der AugustAugust
der SeptemberSeptember
der OktoberOctober
der NovemberNovember
der DezemberDecember

Days of the week (Wochentage)

WochentageDays of the week
der MontagMonday
der DienstagTuesday
der MittwochWednesday
der DonnerstagThursday
der FreitagFriday
der Samstag
der Sonnabend
der SonntagSunday

Parts of the day

Parts of the day
das Morgengrauendawn
(12 am - 6 am)
der Morgenmorning
(6 am - 10 am)
der Vormittaglate morning
(10 am - 12 pm)
der Mittagnoon
(12 pm - 2 pm)
der Nachmittagafternoon
(2 pm - 4 pm)
der Abendevening
(4 pm - 7pm)
die Nachtnight
(7pm - 12 am)

Before and After Christ (Death)

vor Christus abbreviated: v. Chr. or v. C.
before Christ abbreviated: b.c.

nach Christus abbreviated: n. Chr. or n. C.
after Christ (death) abbreviated: a. c.

Related topics: Time in German, numbers in German

#1 [Sandy]2015-08-26 15:47
How would you say "Today is Wednesday, 8/26/15?"
I learned "Heute ist Donnerstag, den 26ten August (or 8ten) 2015," but am not sure that the accusative is correct for the date!