Dates in Portuguese: Days, Months and Years
What’s the date today? For every language, it is something different. Not even Spanish speakers will be able to guess how to say the days of the week in Portuguese. That’s part of the fun (and of the hardship) of learning a new language, isn’t it? So today we’ll be teaching you how to talk about dates in Portuguese. You’ll learn all the vocabulary for the calendar in Portuguese. What month is it? What year? Let’s find out!
Differently from American English, when talking about dates in Portuguese we say the day first, then the month and, finally, the year. We can say the full date or just a part of it (day and month). So if you’re wondering how to write the date in Portuguese, here it is: DAY/MONTH/YEAR.
Days in Portuguese
We usually say the number of the day using cardinal numbers. The only exception is the number 1 (primeiro), that we usually use in the ordinal form. You should also pay attention to this detail: day (dia) in Portuguese is a masculine word. That is, all dates are masculine! Take a look:
Nasci no dia cinco de agosto.
I was born August 5th.
Primeiro de Maio é o dia dos trabalhadores no Brasil.
May 1st is Workers’ Day in Brazil.
Marcamos de sair no dia quinze de abril.
We arranged to go out on April 15th.
As you can see we usually always say the word dia before the date. Pay attention to the preposition we use: em (contraction: no). This is the standard way to talk about dates in Brazil.
Months in Portuguese
No mystery here. This is the one thing that is sure to be easy when you’re learning Portuguese. Months in Portuguese are just like months in many other Indo-European languages: some tweaks in pronunciation and spelling, but the core is really the same old thing. Check it out:
It’s important to note that when you’re writing dates in Portuguese months should not be capitalized. That is, whenever we talk about the calendar in Portuguese, months are written in lower case. This, however, is not the case if we are talking about an event that is known for its date. Check out these examples:
O aniversário dela é em março.
Her birthday is in March.
O 11 de Setembro mudou o mundo.
September 11th changed the world.
Years in Portuguese
And what about the years? The first thing you need to keep in mind is that usually we say numbers in full. That is, there’s no twenty-twenty. It’s two thousand twenty. Always. No exceptions. For that reason, you’d better learn your big numbers in Portuguese, you hear?
The main difficulty people have is the use of e. In Portuguese, we like to add e between most numbers, especially when we are talking about years. Take a look:
2021 Dois mil e vinte e um
1964 Mil novecentos e sessenta e quatro
1498 Mil quatrocentos e noventa e oito
Don’t forget that e unless you want to be spotted as the gringo!
Just like in English, however, we do have some situations in which the century is implied. In these situations, it’s fine to say simply the last two digits of the number:
Meu pai nasceu em 56.
My father was born in ’56.
Nós somos de 82.
We are from ’82.
Mastering the Dates in Portuguese: Prepositions
Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty of it! When we talk about how to write the date in Portuguese, we need to think about the prepositions – is it in, on or what? Months and years are neutral words in Portuguese, that’s why we use the prepositions em and de when we talk about dates. Pay attention, though! Since months and years are neutral, we use these prepositions without articles. So we only need the article (and contraction em + o = no) when we talk about days.
No dia 13 de agosto de 2018, conheci meu namorado.
On August 13th 2018, I met my boyfriend.
Eu nasci no dia primeiro de outubro de 1992.
I was born on October 1st 1992.
We also always use the preposition em to talk about a month or a year separately, in other words, without the full date. Em will also be used before days and before months in short answers.
Conheci meu namorado em 2018.
I met my boyfriend in 2018.
Eu nasci em outubro.
I was born in October.
Calendar in Portuguese and the Days of the Week
So, naturally, when we look at a calendar in Portuguese, we don’t see only the days, months and years on it. Another feature of our calendar in Portuguese (and any other language) is the days of the week. But how do you say the days of the week in Portuguese?
This is, for sure, the one thing that will blow your mind! In a lot of languages, days of the week are named after Gods or planets and stars. Sunday is, after all, the day of the sun. And martes comes from the planet and god of war, Mars. Days of the Week in Portuguese, however, don’t quite fit this pattern. First and foremost, we consider Sunday to be the first day of the week. So a calendar in Portuguese would be organized like this:
Now, you may be confused with all this feira stuff. Feira means street market or fair, and let’s imagine each day of the day has its own fair. They would vary only in order. How would we identify them? Well, the first one is special, it’s domingo. The second fair would be, well, segunda-feira. The third, terça-feira. And so forth. These are all ordinal numbers in Portuguese, except for domingo and sábado, of course. And domingo and sábado are also the only masculine days of the week!
We also don’t capitalize days of the week in Portuguese. And we often shorten them by dropping the feira. So while you’re having Portuguese classes in Rio, you’ll rarely hear people say sexta-feira. Instead, they’ll just say sexta. You can listen to one of our native Portuguese teachers pronouncing the days of the week in Portuguese in this Dica right here.
Examples of Dates in Portuguese
Now let’s watch this video to learn how to say the dates in Portuguese. Don’t forget to turn the subtitles on.
Ele fez o CELPE-Bras em fevereiro.
He did the CELPE-Bras in February.
Eu fiz meu visto de estudante para o Brasil em 2012.
I did my student visa for Brazil in 2012.
– Quando ela nasceu?
– Ela nasceu no dia 2 de agosto de 1993.
– When was she born?
– She was born on August 2nd, 1993.
– Quando é a Páscoa?
– É em abril.
– When is Easter?
– It’s in April.
– Quando ela nasceu?
– Ela nasceu em agosto de 1992.
– When was she born?
– She was born in August 1992.
– Quando é o dia da Independência do Brasil?
– É no dia 7 de setembro.
– When is Independence Day in Brazil?
– It’s on September 7th.
Take a look at our examples and let’s practice!
Luana: Moisés, quando você vai tirar férias?
Moisés: Ah, Luana…só no dia 11 de junho!
Luana: Nossa, tá longe hein!
Luana: Moisés, when will you take your vacation?
Moisés: Oh Luana…only on June 11th.
Luana: Gosh! That’s a long way away!
Juan: Luana, quando é o carnaval?
Luana: É em fevereiro.
Juan: Mal posso esperar pra sambar!
Juan: When is Carnival celebrated?
Luana: In February.
Juan: I can’t wait to samba!
Let’s take a look at another dialogue:
Kurt: Quando você nasceu?
Diogo: Em 9 de janeiro de 1987.
Kurt: Sério?! Eu também!
Kurt: When were you born?
Diogo: On January 9th 1987.
Kurt: Really? Me too!
Now that you know the dates in Portuguese, it’s your turn to practice!
How to Write Dates in Portuguese
Wait! Before you go, let’s do a couple of exercises! What do you have to do? Well, here are some dates written in numbers. Your goal is to write them using complete words.
I hope you got your dates down! Let’s get into days of the week, shall we? The dates below are all holidays in Brazil – so check your calendar in Portuguese! Find out which holiday it is and which day of the week it falls on in 2021. Take a look at the example:
oito de março > O Dia da Internacional da Mulher é na segunda-feira.
- doze de outubro
- vinte e um de abril
- sete de setembro
- vinte de novembro
- vinte e cinco de dezembro
- quinze de novembro
- primeiro de maio
- vinte e três de abril
- quinze de outubro
- dois de novembro
See you soon! Bye!
- Primeiro de outubro de mil novecentos e noventa e dois.
- Doze de dezembro de mil novecentos e noventa e seis.
- Vinte e cinco de setembro de mil novecentos e oitenta e sete.
- Quatro de fevereiro de dois mil e dez.
- Dez de março de mil novecentos e noventa e três.
- Dezoito de julho de mil oitocentos e noventa e três.
- Trinta de junho de mil novecentos e oitenta e seis.
- Vinte e sente de janeiro de dois mil e dezenove.
- Nove de maio de dois mil e trinta e quatro.
- Três de fevereiro de dois mil e dezoito.
- O Dia das Crianças / O Dia de Nossa Senhora da Aparecida é na terça-feira.
- O Dia de Tiradentes é na quarta-feira.
- O Dia da Independência é na terça-feira.
- O Dia da Consciência Negra é no sábado.
- O Natal é no sábado.
- O Dia da República é na segunda-feira.
- O Dia do Trabalho é no sábado.
- O Dia de São Jorge é na sexta-feira.
- O Dia dos Professores é na sexta-feira.
- O Dia de Finados é na terça-feira.