Language Guide
Vocabulary
The Months in Spanish

The Months in Spanish

It's time to learn some very important words in Spanish: the names of the months! You’re going to need to know these twelve words to make appointments, talk about birthdays and holidays, fill out forms, and to simply say what the date is. So, without further ado, here are the names of los meses  (the months) in Spanish.

SpanishEnglish
enero
 
January
febrero
 
February
marzo
 
March
abril
 
April
mayo
 
May
junio
 
June
julio
 
July
agosto
 
August
septiembre
 
September
octubre
 
October
noviembre
 
November
diciembre
 
December

The names of the months are not capitalized in Spanish.

Voy a Chile en marzo.  (I’m going to Chile in March.)

Voy a Chile en Marzo.

The conventions for talking about dates are a bit different in English and Spanish. In Spanish the month comes after the day. In English the month can come before or after the day.

Hoy es el cuatro de octubre. 
Hoy es octubre el cuatro.
Today is the fourth of October.
Today is October fourth.

In both languages, the year usually comes after the month and day, whatever order they're in. Let’s take a look at how to write dates in each language!

SpanishEnglish
2 de marzo
 
March 2
2 de marzo de 2017
 
March 2, 2017
2 de marzo del 2017
 
March 2, 2017
02/03/2017
 
03/02/2017
dos de marzo de dos mil diecisiete
 
March second two thousand seventeen

Differences When Talking About Dates in Spanish

Here are a couple of important things to note about the dates in the above table.

De vs. Del

In Spanish you can write the date using de or del before the year. Using del is usually considered a bit more formal.

  • 2 de marzo de 2017
  • 2 de marzo del 2017

Writing the Date

When writing dates using only numerals, the day comes first in Spanish, while the month usually comes first in English . It’s really important to remember this when filling out customs or tax forms!

  • Spanish: 02/03/2017 = DD/MM/YYYY
  • English: 03/02/2017 = MM/DD/YYYY

Cardinals vs. Ordinals

In Spanish cardinal numbers are normally used to talk about dates, while in English ordinal numbers are used. Cardinal numbers are counting numbers like uno , dos , tres  (one, two, three) while ordinal numbers are numbers that put things in order, like primero , segundo , tercero  (first, second, third). Check out these examples:

Hoy es el dos de marzo.
Today is March second.
 
Ayer fue el quince de junio.
Yesterday was June fifteenth.
 

Although cardinal numbers are normally used for dates in Spanish, it’s common to hear an ordinal number used to talk about the first of the month, but only in Latin America!

Latin American Spanish

Hoy es el primero de marzo.
Today is March first.

 

Peninsular Spanish

Hoy es el uno de marzo.
Today is March first.

 

For all other dates, cardinal numbers are used in both Latin America and Spain!

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