Days & Dates in Chinese

Days & Dates


The third Numbers lesson will cover days and dates.

星期  禮拜  週
天  日

ㄒㄧㄥ ㄑㄧˊ    ㄌㄧˇㄅㄞˋ    ㄓㄡ
ㄊㄧㄢ    ㄖˋ

1. Days of the week

There are three different ways to say what day of the week it is. The most common is with the word for “week”, followed by a number.

今天 (是) 星期
today (is) week one

今天是星期一。 / 今天星期一。

Today is Monday.

*是 is optional when telling or asking the day, date, or time.

this (counter for stores) store week two closed


The store is closed on Tuesday.

This pattern is used from Monday (一) thru Saturday (六).  Sunday is different; instead of a number, you add either 天 or 日.

明天 星期天
tomorrow Sunday


Tomorrow is Sunday.

this (counter for stores) store Sunday open


The store is open on Sunday.

To ask what day of the week it is, replace the number with 幾.

今天 星期
today week what number?


What day is today?

Though less common, you can almost always replace 星期 with 禮拜 or 週, making three ways to say each day, and five ways to say Sunday.  (It would be six ways to say Sunday, but 週天 is never used for some reason.)  That makes twenty-three “Day of the Week” words in all.

Monday 星期一 禮拜一 週一
Tuesday 星期二 禮拜二 週二
Wednesday 星期三 禮拜三 週三
Thursday 星期四 禮拜四 週四
Friday 星期五 禮拜五 週五
Saturday 星期六 禮拜六 週六
Sunday 星期天 禮拜天 ~
Sunday 星期日 禮拜日 週日

年  月  日  號

ㄋㄧㄢˊ    ㄩㄝˋ    ㄖˋ    ㄏㄠˋ

2. Dates

If you ever have to fill out a form in China, Taiwan, etc., and see a section that looks like this…

____ 年 __ 月 __ 日

…you can guess that it’s probably a place to write a date, since those three characters mean…

(ㄋㄧㄢˊ) ~ year

(ㄩㄝˋ) ~ month

(ㄖˋ) ~ day

In Chinese, the date is always read “year, month, day”; from biggest to smallest. The year can be read by simply saying the four numbers individually. For instance, read 2015 as “two, zero, one, five”.

名字 美國
name America
一七七六年 七月 四日
life day 1776th year 7th month 4th day



Name: America

DOB: July 4th, 1776

結束 一九一一年 十月 十日
Qing dynasty end on 1911th year 10th month 10th day


The Qing Dynasty ended on October 10, 1911.

In writing, dates will usually appear in this way.  In speech however, 日 (day) is often replaced with 號 (number).

媽媽 生日 一月 十九
I mother ’s birthday is January 19 number


My mom’s birthday is on January 19th.

今天 三十一
today is 31 number


Today is the 31st.

To ask today’s date, replace the numbers you don’t know with 幾.

today what number? day


What is the date today?

today what number? month what number? day


What is the month and date today?

In the next lesson, we’ll look at one of the most important things you can do with numbers; telling the time!

Next: Telling Time