How to Write German Dates


Whether you're writing a letter to a German friend or booking travel accommodations for a trip to Munich, knowing how to write the date (das Datum) in German will help you avoid miscommunication. In German, whether writing the date using only numbers or using a combination of words and numbers, you list the day first, followed by the month, then the year. In many situations, the date is also preceded by an article or a preposition.[1]

Part 1
Using Only Numbers

Using Only Numbers on How to Write German Dates

1
In some situations, such as in letters or other formal writing, the date is preceded by the article der, which means "the," or am, meaning "on" or "on the."[2] For example, if you wanted to talk about an event that happened on January 22, 2019, you would write der 22.01.2019 to mean "the 22nd of January 2019," or am 22.01.2019 to mean "on the 22 of January 2019."

Using Only Numbers on How to Write German Dates

2
When writing a date in German, list the day of the month first, followed by the numeral for the month, followed by the year. Germany uses the Gregorian calendar, with 12 months from January through December.[3] For example, if you saw 01.04.2019 in German, this date is April 1st, 2019 – not January 4th. Tip: When dealing with asingle-digit day or month, put a"0" before the digit to act as aplaceholder. For example, forJuly 4th, 2019, you would writeder 04.07.2019.Tip: When dealing with a single-digitday or month, put a "0" before thedigit to act as a placeholder. Forexample, for July 4th, 2019, you wouldwrite der 04.07.2019.Tip: When dealing with a single-digit day ormonth, put a "0" before the digit to act asa placeholder. For example, for July 4th,2019, you would write der 04.07.2019.Tip: When dealing with a single-digit day or month, put a "0" before thedigit to act as a placeholder. For example, for July 4th, 2019, youwould write der 04.07.2019.Tip: When dealing with a single-digit day or month, put a "0" before the digitto act as a placeholder. For example, for July 4th, 2019, you would write der04.07.2019.

Using Only Numbers on How to Write German Dates

3
Use a period or full-stop after the numeral representing the day and the month. Do not include a space after the period. There's no need for a period after the year unless the date happens to fall at the end of a sentence.[4] For example, if you wanted to write the date January 12, 2019 numerically in German, you would write "12.01.2019."

Part 2
Including Words and Numbers

Including Words and Numbers on How to Write German Dates

1
In some situations, you may need (or simply want) to include the name of the day of the week when writing out a date. Usually, you would do this on an invitation to an event or a notification of a meeting. The name of the day of the week is followed by a comma.[5] For example, you might write "Dienstag, 22. Januar 2019." (Tuesday, 22nd January 2019). In German, the days of the week are Montag (Monday), Dienstag (Tuesday), Mittwoch (Wednesday), Donnerstag (Thursday), Freitag (Friday), Samstag (Saturday), and Sonntag (Sunday).[6]Tip: In German, the days of theweek are capitalized just as theyare in English. Monday is thefirst day of the week and Sundayis the seventh or last day of theweek.Tip: In German, the days of the weekare capitalized just as they are inEnglish. Monday is the first day ofthe week and Sunday is the seventh orlast day of the week.Tip: In German, the days of the week arecapitalized just as they are in English.Monday is the first day of the week andSunday is the seventh or last day of theweek.Tip: In German, the days of the week are capitalized just as they are inEnglish. Monday is the first day of the week and Sunday is the seventhor last day of the week.Tip: In German, the days of the week are capitalized just as they are inEnglish. Monday is the first day of the week and Sunday is the seventh or lastday of the week.

Including Words and Numbers on How to Write German Dates

2
The period (or full-stop) after the numeral indicating the day of the month signals that the number is an ordinal. Unlike when writing the date using only numbers, there is a space after the period and before the name of the month.[7] For example, you would write "July 4, 2019" as der 4. Juli 2019. Tip: When using both words andnumbers to write the date, youdon't need to include a "0" as aplaceholder for single-digitdays.Tip: When using both words and numbersto write the date, you don't need toinclude a "0" as a placeholder forsingle-digit days.Tip: When using both words and numbers towrite the date, you don't need to include a"0" as a placeholder for single-digit days.Tip: When using both words and numbers to write the date, you don't needto include a "0" as a placeholder for single-digit days.Tip: When using both words and numbers to write the date, you don't need toinclude a "0" as a placeholder for single-digit days.

Including Words and Numbers on How to Write German Dates

3
After the day of the year, write out the name of the month. Type a space, then close your date with the numerals of the year. There's no punctuation between the month and the year.[8] For example, you would write "December 24, 2019" as der 24 Dezember 2019. The months of the year in German are: Januar (January), Februar (February), März (March), April (April), Mai (May), Juni (June), Juli (July), August (August), September (September), Oktober (October), November (November), and Dezember (December). They're fairly easy to recognize and remember if you already know the months of the year in English.

Part 3
Saying the Date Aloud

Saying the Date Aloud on How to Write German Dates

1
When you write or say the date in German, you typically precede the actual date with der (meaning "the") or am (meaning "on").[9] For example, you would say der erste Mai zweitausendneunzehn for "the first [of] May 2019."

Saying the Date Aloud on How to Write German Dates

2
The period after the numeral indicates this number is an ordinal. The ending of the ordinal changes if you say the date along with a preposition, such as am, or an article, such as der.[10] If there is no article or preposition, the ordinal ends in -er. For example, you would say fünfter Oktober zweitausendelf to mean "5th October 2011." If you happen to use an indefinite article, such as ein (meaning "a" or "an"), you would also end the ordinal with -er. When using a definite article, such as der, the ordinal ends in -e. For example, you would say der fünfter Oktober zweitausendelf to mean "the 5th [of] Oktober 2011." If a preposition precedes the date, the ordinal ends in -en. For example, you would say am fünften Oktober zweitausendelf to mean "on [the] 5th [of] Oktober 2011."

Saying the Date Aloud on How to Write German Dates

3
If the name of the month is written out, you would just say the name of the month. However, if you're reading a date in German that's written using only numbers, you read the month as an ordinal number rather than saying the name of that month.[11] For example, if you saw der 01.02.2009, you would read it as der erste zweite zweitausendneun, or "the first second two thousand nine."

Saying the Date Aloud on How to Write German Dates

4
The way you say the numbers for the years in German changed beginning in the year 2000. Prior to that year, numbers are read as hundreds. For the year 2000 and beyond, read the number as it appears.[12] For example, you would read the year 1813 as achtzehnhundertdreizehn, meaning "18 hundred 13." However, the year 2010 is read zweitausendzehn, or "2 thousand 10." Tip: Don't add the word und or"and" when reading the year,unless it's part of the number.So 1995 would beneunzehnhundertfünfundneunzig,or "19 hundred 5 and 90," but1617 would besechzehnhundertsiebzehn, or "16hundred 17," not "16 hundred and17."Tip: Don't add the word und or "and"when reading the year, unless it'spart of the number. So 1995 would beneunzehnhundertfünfundneunzig, or "19hundred 5 and 90," but 1617 would besechzehnhundertsiebzehn, or "16hundred 17," not "16 hundred and 17."Tip: Don't add the word und or "and" whenreading the year, unless it's part of thenumber. So 1995 would beneunzehnhundertfünfundneunzig, or "19hundred 5 and 90," but 1617 would besechzehnhundertsiebzehn, or "16 hundred 17,"not "16 hundred and 17."Tip: Don't add the word und or "and" when reading the year, unless it'spart of the number. So 1995 would be neunzehnhundertfünfundneunzig, or"19 hundred 5 and 90," but 1617 would be sechzehnhundertsiebzehn, or "16hundred 17," not "16 hundred and 17."Tip: Don't add the word und or "and" when reading the year, unless it's partof the number. So 1995 would be neunzehnhundertfünfundneunzig, or "19 hundred5 and 90," but 1617 would be sechzehnhundertsiebzehn, or "16 hundred 17," not"16 hundred and 17."