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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Li Hui: Wow, tài hǎo le!

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds Li Yameng: Lydia, what are you doing? Why are you so excited?

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 seconds Li Hui: I’m checking Jay Chou’s concert.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds Li Yameng: Jay Chou? I’m also his fan. What’s the date of his concert?

Skip to 0 minutes and 23 seconds Li Hui: June 15. 6 yuè 15 hào. Do you want to come with me?

Skip to 0 minutes and 29 seconds Li Yameng: Why not? What’s the date today?

Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds Li Hui: Today is June 3. Jīntiān shì 6 yuè 3 hào.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds Li Yameng: “6 yuè 3 hào” is the Chinese way of saying the date. Do you remember how to count the number in Chinese?

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds Li Hui: Let’s try it together. 1 2 3 4 5

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds Li Yameng: That’s enough, Lydia.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds Li Hui: OK.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds Li Yameng: Number plus “yuè” is used to express the month. “Yuè” literally means “month”.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds Li Hui: OK, then let’s count the months together. yīyuè èryuè sānyuè sìyuè wǔyuè liùyuè qīyuè bāyuè jiǔyuè shíyuè shíyīyuè shíèryuè

Skip to 1 minute and 49 seconds Li Yameng: As for the exact date, we will use number plus “hào” or “rì”. “Hào” is used in speaking. We usually use “rì” instead of “hào” in written Chinese.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds Li Hui: When we express dates in Chinese, we observe the principle of putting the bigger units before the smaller ones. So the correct order in Chinese should be year, plus month, plus date. Like, “2019 nián 5 yuè 1 hào”.

Skip to 2 minutes and 27 seconds Here, number plus “nián” is used to express the year. Well, now let’s take a look at the complete structure of this sentence.

Skip to 2 minutes and 39 seconds Li Yameng: Subject plus “shì” plus “yuè”, “hào”.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 seconds The subject should be a noun of time, like “jīntiān, míngtiān, zuótiān”.

Skip to 2 minutes and 57 seconds Could you fill in the blanks in the sentence below?

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 seconds Li Hui: Besides what you said, the subject can also be a festival or birthday. Amy, do you know any traditional festivals in the Western countries?

Skip to 3 minutes and 17 seconds Li Yameng: Yeah, like most of the Chinese, I know “Shèngdànjié, Qíngrénjié, Xīnnián”.

Skip to 3 minutes and 25 seconds Li Hui: Yeah, and these festivals are more and more popular in China.

Skip to 3 minutes and 31 seconds Li Yameng: Now practice again. Please try by yourself.

Skip to 3 minutes and 40 seconds Li Hui: Talking about “Xīnnián”, the New Year, Chinese New Year’s Day is also called the Spring Festival. “Chūnjié” falls on different dates of the Gregorian calendar. Amy, do you know the reason?

Skip to 3 minutes and 55 seconds Li Yameng: Mm-hm. We used to follow the lunar calendar, with month is determined by the phases of the moon. So the date varies on the Gregorian calendar.

Skip to 4 minutes and 5 seconds Li Hui: Yep, Chinese also use the Gregorian calendar now, but our traditional festivals still follow the lunar calendar. So if you want to know the date of Chinese New Year, you may say, Zhōngguó Xīnnián shì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Skip to 4 minutes and 25 seconds Or Zhōngguó Chūnjié shì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Skip to 4 minutes and 30 seconds Do you remember “jǐ” in the sentence “Nǐ jiā yǒu jǐ kǒu rén”? “Jǐ” is our question word for number, meaning “which.” In this question, Zhōngguó Xīnnián shì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Skip to 4 minutes and 49 seconds “jǐyuè jǐhào” means “which month” and “which dates”? The numbers refer to the month and the date. So if you want to know the date of today, you just say “Jīntiān shì jǐhào?”.

Skip to 5 minutes and 6 seconds Li Yameng: But I like to say “Jīntiān jǐhào?”

Skip to 5 minutes and 10 seconds Li Hui: Me, too. Chinese like to make things easy. In speaking, we may just say “Jīntiān jǐhào?”

Skip to 5 minutes and 18 seconds Li Yameng: “shì” is optional in this expression. For example, Lydia, Nǐ de shēngrì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Skip to 5 minutes and 23 seconds Li Hui: Wǒ de shēngrì 7 yuè 7 hào. Nǐ ne?

Skip to 5 minutes and 24 seconds Li Yameng: Wǒ de shēngrì 6 yuè 5 hào.

Skip to 5 minutes and 24 seconds Li Hui: Jīntiān shì 6 yuè 3 hào.

Skip to 5 minutes and 35 seconds So your birthday is on Wednesday?

Skip to 5 minutes and 37 seconds Li Yameng: Yeah, Wednesday. Xīngqīsān. “Xīngqī” plus number can be used to express the date. So you see? It’s super easy to say each day of the week in Chinese.

Skip to 5 minutes and 49 seconds Li Hui: Mm-hm. So now let’s practise to say the days of the week. xīngqīyī xīngqīèr xīngqīsān xīngqīsì xīngqīwǔ xīngqīliù xīngqītiān or xīngqīrì.

Skip to 6 minutes and 18 seconds Instead of saying “xīngqīqī”, we call Sunday “xīngqītiān” or “xīngqīrì”.

Skip to 6 minutes and 25 seconds Li Yameng: Lydia, Nǐ de shēngrì shì xīngqījǐ?

Skip to 6 minutes and 27 seconds Li Hui: Wǒ de shēngrì shì xīngqītiān!

Skip to 6 minutes and 32 seconds Li Yameng: Xīngqītiān? Great.

Skip to 6 minutes and 36 seconds Li Yameng: Lydia, do you know teacher Zhu’s birthday is coming? Maybe we can hold a small party for her.

Skip to 6 minutes and 43 seconds Li Hui: Oh, really?

Skip to 6 minutes and 44 seconds Li Yameng: Yeah.

Skip to 6 minutes and 44 seconds Li Hui: Tā de shēngrì shì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Skip to 6 minutes and 44 seconds Li Yameng: Tā de shēngrì shì 6 yuè 11 hào.

Skip to 6 minutes and 45 seconds Li Hui: Xīngqījǐ?

Skip to 6 minutes and 45 seconds Li Yameng: : Xīngqīèr.

Skip to 6 minutes and 45 seconds Li Hui: Xīngqīèr,

Skip to 6 minutes and 56 seconds I will join you.

Skip to 6 minutes and 57 seconds Li Yameng: Sure.

How to express the date

Four important concepts are introduced right after the conversation of our two teachers.

audio

  • 年(nián) year
    In Chinese, we say each digit and put 年(nián) at the end.
    2019年 二零一九年 (èr líng yī jiǔ nián)

  • 月(yuè) month
    In Chinese, the months are numbered in sequence. If you know how to count numbers in Chinese, you can easily master how to say month in Chinese.

一月(yīyuè) 二月(èryuè) 三月(sānyuè) 四月(sìyuè) 五月(wǔyuè)

六月(liùyuè) 七月(qīyuè) 八月(bāyuè) 九月(jiǔyuè)

十月(shíyuè) 十一月(shíyīyuè) 十二月(shíèryuè)

  • 日(rì) day of the month(formal)
    5月1日 五月一日(wǔyuè yī rì)

    号(hào) day of the month(informal)
    5月1号 五月一号(wǔyuè yī hào)

The correct order of expressing the date in Chinese should be year+month+date because we observe the principle of putting the bigger unit before the smaller one.

Think: How to say February 14, 2019 in Chinese? 今天(是)几月几号?(Jīntiān (shì) jǐ yuè jǐ hào?) is used for asking about the date and 是(shì) is optional in this question. Here “几(jǐ)” is used to ask about the number(the number in the date).

  • Besides the expressions of the date, we also talk about the expressions of the week.

    星期一(xīngqīyī) 星期二(xīngqīèr) 星期三(xīngqīsān)

    星期四(xīngqīsì) 星期五(xīngqīwǔ) 星期六(xīngqīliù)

    星期天/日(xīngqītiān/rì)

你的生日是星期几? (Nǐ de shēngrì shì xīngqījǐ?) means “what’s the day of your birthday?”.

Think:How to answer the above question?

This video provides several examples with situational usages to introduce the patterns of asking the date and the week. You might want to use them in your daily life promptly.

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Introduction to Chinese: Conversation

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

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