Chinese Grammar: Dates and time in Chinese
Let's learn to talk about dates and time in Chinese.
Lupishu hasn't seen the time fly by since he's arrived in Ninchana, but now that he's learning how to tell time and talk about dates, he's intent on keeping track. Let's start with talking about days of the week and months in Chinese.
Numbers, not names
Months and days of the week do not have names in Chinese. They are numbered instead.
From big to small
A rule of thumb in Chinese when talking about dates and time is to always go from the most general (big) to the most specific (small). In English, it’s the opposite!
Start with the most general information (the year) and work your way down.
Dates are also commonly written like this:
Just like with dates, to organize how you talk about time, start with the larger element, here the period of the day. Going from largest to smallest is something you'll often find yourself doing in Mandarin. So, to talk about a given time, start with:
Here's some useful vocabulary to talk about time:
+ 早上: early morning
+ 上午: morning
+ 中午: noon
+ 下午: afternoon
+ 晚上: evening
+ 夜里: night
+ 点 (short for 点钟): hour
+ 分 (short for 分钟): minutes
+ 刻: quarter of an hour
+ 半: half an hour
+ 差: here minus; to, as in 差 十 分 两 点: Ten to 2.
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