days and dates


days and dates
This entry tells you how to indicate the day, month, or year when something happens. Information on days, months, years, dates, seasons, decades, and centuries is given first, followed by information on which preposition to use. There is also information about other ways of talking about the date of an event.
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For information on how to indicate the time or part of the day when something happens, see entry at ↑ Time.
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days
These are the days of the week:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
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Days of the week are always written with a capital letter. They are usually used without a determiner.

I'll send the cheque round on Monday.

Why didn't you come to the meeting on Wednesday?

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However, if you are referring generally to any day with a particular name, you put `a' in front of the day.

It is unlucky to cut your nails on a Friday.

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If you want to say that something happened or will happen on a particular day of a particular week, especially when making a contrast with other days of that week, you put `the' in front of the day.

He died on the Friday and was buried on the Sunday.

We'll come and see you on the Sunday.

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See also the section on `regular events' later in this entry.
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Saturday and Sunday are often referred to as `the weekend', and the other days as `weekdays'.

I went down and fetched her back at the weekend.

The Tower is open 9.30 to 6.00 on weekdays.

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Note that Saturday is sometimes considered to be a weekday.
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When people say that something happens `during the week', they mean that it happens on weekdays, not on Saturday or Sunday.

They used to spend the whole Sunday at chapel but most of them behaved shockingly during the week.

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special days
A few days in the year have special names, for example:
New Year's Day (1st January), St Valentine's Day (14th February), Good Friday (not fixed), Easter Sunday (not fixed), Easter Monday (not fixed), Hallowe'en (31st October), Christmas Eve (24th December), Christmas Day (25th December), Boxing Day (26th or 27th December), New Year's Eve (31st December)
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months
These are the months of the year:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
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Months are always written with a capital letter.

I wanted to leave in September.

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In a date, months can be represented by a number, as shown in the section on `writing dates' later in this entry. January is represented by 1, February by 2, and so on.
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You can use `early', `mid', and `late' to specify part of a month. Note that you cannot use `middle' like this, although you can use `the middle of'.

I should very much like to come to California in late September or early October.

We must have five copies by mid February.

By the middle of June the Campaign already had more than 1000 members.

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years
You normally say a year in two parts. For example, `1970' is said as `nineteen seventy', and `1820' is said as `eighteen twenty'.
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In the case of years ending in `00', you say the second part as `hundred'. For example, `1900' is said as `nineteen hundred'.
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Note that people often write `the year 2000', not just `2000'. They usually say `the year two thousand'.
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There are two ways of saying years ending in `01' to `09'. For example, `1901' can be said as `nineteen oh one' or `nineteen hundred and one'.
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'AD' and 'BC'
To be more specific, for example when talking about early history, `AD' is added in front of a year or after it to show that it occurred a particular number of years after the time when Christ is believed to have been born.

The Chinese were printing by movable type in AD 1050.

The earliest record of an animal becoming extinct dates from about 800 AD.

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`AD' is an abbreviation for the Latin expression `anno Domini', which means `in the year of our Lord'.
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`BC' (meaning `before Christ') is added after a year to show that it occurred before Christ is believed to have been born.

The figurine was found near a sandal dated at 6925 BC.

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writing dates
When writing a date, you use a number to indicate which day of the month you are talking about. There are several different ways of writing a date:
20 April, 20th April, April 20, April 20th, the twentieth of April
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If you want to give the year as well as the day and the month, you put it last.

I was born on December 15th, 1933.

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You can write a date entirely in figures:
20/4/92, 20.4.92
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Note that Americans put the month in front of the day when writing the date in figures, so the date above would be written `4/20/92' or `4.20.92'.
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Dates within a piece of writing are not usually written entirely in figures. However, this way of writing dates is often used for the date at the top of a letter, and for dates on forms.
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saying dates
You say the day as an ordinal number, even when it is written in figures as a cardinal number. Speakers of British English say `the' in front of the number. For example, `April 20' is said as `April the twentieth'. Speakers of American English usually say `April twentieth'.
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When the month comes after the number, you use `of' in front of the month. For example, `20 April' would be said as `the twentieth of April'.
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You can omit the month when it is clear which month you are referring to.

So Monday will be the seventeenth.

St Valentine's Day is on the fourteenth.

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When you want to tell someone today's date, you use `It's'.

`What's the date?' —-`It's the twelfth.'

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These are the four seasons of the year:
spring, summer, autumn, winter
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Seasons are sometimes written with a capital letter, but it is more usual to use a small letter.

I was supposed to go last summer.

I think it's nice to get away in the autumn.

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In American English, `fall' is used instead of `autumn'.

They usually give a party in the fall and in the spring.

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`Springtime', `summertime', and `wintertime' are also used to refer generally to particular times of year. Note that there is no word `autumntime'.
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decades and centuries
A decade is a period of ten years. A century is a period of a hundred years.
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Decades are usually thought of as starting with a year ending in zero and finishing with a year ending in nine. For example, the decade from 1960 to 1969 is referred to as `the 1960s'.

In the 1950s, synthetic hair was invented.

In the 1840s it was still possible for working-class newspapers to be profitable,

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When you are talking about a decade in the twentieth century, you do not have to indicate the century. For example, you can refer to the 1920s as `the 20s', `the '20s', `the twenties', or `the Twenties'.

...the depression of the twenties and thirties.

Most of it was done in the Seventies.

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You cannot refer to the first or second decade of a century in the way described above. Instead you can say, for example, `the early 1800s' or `the early nineteenth century'.
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Centuries are considered by many people to start with a year ending in 00 and finish with a year ending in 99. They are calculated from the birth of Christ and referred to using ordinals. For example, the years 1400-1499 are referred to as `the fifteenth century', and we are currently in `the twentieth century' (1900-1999). Centuries can also be written using figures, for example `the 20th century'.

And then, in the eighteenth century, dawned the age of the French Salon.

That practice continued right through the 19th century.

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Note that some people think that centuries start with a year ending in 01, so, for example, the twentieth century is 1901-2000.
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You can, if necessary, indicate whether you are referring to a century before or after the birth of Christ using `BC' or `AD'.

The great age of Greek sport was the fifth century BC.

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You can also refer to a century using the plural form of its first year. For example, you can refer to the eighteenth century as `the 1700s' or `the seventeen hundreds'.

The building goes back to the 1600s.

...furniture in the heavy style of the early eighteen hundreds.

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part of a decade or century
You can use `early', `mid', and `late' to specify part of a decade or century. Note that you cannot use `middle' like this, although you can use `the middle of'.

His most important writing was done in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

...the wars of the late nineteenth century.

In the mid 1970s forecasting techniques became more sophisticated.

The next major upset came in the middle of the nineteenth century.

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using prepositions
You use particular prepositions when mentioning the day, date, or time of year of an event.
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• You use `at' with:
religious festivals: at Christmas, at Easter, short periods: at the weekend, at the beginning of March
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• You use `in' with:
months: in July, in December, seasons: in autumn, in the spring, long periods: in wartime, in the holidays, years: in 1985, in the year 2000, decades: in the thirties, centuries: in the nineteenth century
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• You use `on' with:
days: on Monday, on weekdays, on Christmas Day, dates: on the twentieth of July, on June 21st, on the twelfth
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Note that American speakers sometimes omit `on'.

Can you come Tuesday?

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To indicate that something happened at some time in a particular period, or throughout a period, you can use `during' or `over'.

There were 1.4 million enquiries during 1988 and 1989 alone.

More than 1,800 government soldiers were killed in fighting over Christmas.

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using other adverbials
You can indicate when something happens using the adverbs `today', `tomorrow', and `yesterday'.

One of my children wrote to me today.

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You can also use a noun group consisting of a word like `last', `this', or `next' combined with a word like `week', `year', or `month'. Note that you do not use prepositions with these time expressions.

They're coming next week.

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See entries at ↑ last - lastly, ↑ this - these, and next for detailed information on the use of these expressions.
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If you say that you did something `the week before last', you mean that you did it in the week just before the week that has just passed.

Eileen was accompanying her father, to visit friends made on a camping trip the year before last in Spain.

I saw her the Tuesday before last.

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If you say that something happened `a week ago last Tuesday', you mean that it happened exactly one week before the previous Tuesday.
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If you say that you will do something `the week after next', you mean that you will do it in the week after the week that comes next.

He wants us to go the week after next.

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If you say that something is going to happen `Thursday week', you mean that it is going to happen exactly one week after the next Thursday.

`When is it to open?' —-`Monday week.'

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If you say that something will happen `three weeks on Thursday', you mean that it will happen exactly three weeks after the next Thursday.
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indefinite dates
For information on how to indicate an indefinite date, see entry at ↑ Time.
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modifying nouns
If you want to indicate that you are referring to something that occurred or will occur on a particular day or in a particular period, you use 's after a noun group referring to that day or period.

How many of you were at Tuesday's lecture?

...yesterday's triumphs.

...next week's game.

...one of this century's most controversial leaders.

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You can use the name of a day or period of the year as a modifier if you are referring to a type of thing.

Some of the people in the Tuesday class had already done a ten or twelve hour day.

I had summer clothes and winter clothes.

Ash had spent the Christmas holidays at Pelham Abbas.

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When indicating what season a day occurs in, you use the name of the season as a noun modifier. You can also use 's with `summer' and `winter'.

...a clear spring morning.

...wet winter days.

...a summer's day.

...a cold winter's night.

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You can use adverbials indicating date as qualifiers.

The sudden death of his father on 17 November 1960 did not find him unprepared.

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regular events
If something happens regularly, you can say that it happens `every day', `every week', and so on.

The nurse came in and washed him every day.

I used to go every Sunday.

Every week we sang `Lord of the Dance'.

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You can also use an adverb such as `daily' or `monthly'. This is more formal and less common.

It was suggested that we give each child an allowance yearly or monthly to cover all he or she spends.

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If you want to say that something happens regularly on a particular day of the week, you can use `on' and the plural form of the day instead of using `every' and the singular form of the day. You do this when you are simply saying when something happens, rather than emphasizing that it is a regular event.

He went there on Mondays and Fridays.

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If something happens at intervals of two days, two weeks, and so on, you can say that it happens `every other day', `every other week', and so on.

We wrote every other day.

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A less common way of indicating an interval is to say that something happens `on alternate days', `in alternate weeks', and so on.

Just do some exercises on alternate days at first.

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You can also indicate an interval by saying that something happens `every two weeks', `every three years', and so on.

World Veteran Championships are staged every two years.

...an antidote of serum renewed every six months.

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You can also indicate that something happens regularly by saying that it happens, for example, `once a week', `once every six months', or `twice a year'.

The group met once a week.

...in areas where it only rains once every five or ten years.

You only have a meal three times a day.

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Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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