In this Post, we study and learn German Months, Seasons, Days, and Dates. After studying this lesson, you’ll be able to:
- say the days (Tage) and german months (Monate)
- express calendar (Kalender) dates
- talk about the seasons (Jahreszeiten)
- talk about dates and deadlines (Termine) in German.
Luckily, because they are based on Latin, the English and German words for the months are almost identical. The days in many cases are also similar because of a common Germanic heritage. Most of the days bear the names of Teutonic gods in both languages.
For example, the Germanic god of war and thunder, Thor, lends his name to both English Thursday and German Donnerstag (thunder = Donner).
Before Start to learn German Months, Seasons, Days, and Dates, it is always recommended that you should know about German Numbers and its Pronunciation. Follow the link below
Learn German Months, Seasons, Days, and Dates
Days of the week (Tage der Woche)
Looking at a German calendar, you find that the week, die Woche (dee woH-e), starts on a Monday. Most of the days in German end in the word (der) Tag, just as the English days end in “day.” In addition, the days of the week are all the same gender, masculine (dêr), but generally they’re used without an article. For example, if you want to say that today is Monday, you say Heute ist Montag (hoy-te ist mohn-tahk).
Your basic days
Here are the days of the week followed by the abbreviations that you often see on schedules:
|Tage der Woche
Days of the Week
(used in Northern Germany)
The seven days of the week are masculine (der). Note that there are two words for Saturday. Samstag is used in most of Germany, in Austria, and in German Switzerland. Sonnabend (“Sunday eve”) is used in eastern Germany and roughly north of the city of Münster in northern Germany. So, in Hamburg, Rostock, Leipzig or Berlin, it’s Sonnabend; in Cologne, Frankfurt, Munich or Vienna “Saturday” is Samstag.
Both words for “Saturday” are understood all over the German-speaking world, but you should try to use the one most common in the region you’re in. Note the two-letter abbreviation for each of the days (Mo, Di, Mi, etc.). These are used on calendars, schedules and German/Swiss watches that indicate the day and date.
Using Prepositional Phrases With Days of the Week
To say “on Monday” or “on Friday” you use the prepositional phrase am Montag or am Freitag. (The word am is actually a contraction of an and dem, the dative form of der. More about that below.) Here are some commonly used phrases for the days of the week:
(on Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.)
(am Dienstag, Mittwoch, usw.)
(on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc.)
(dienstags, mittwochs, usw.)
|every Monday, Mondays
(every Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.)
(jeden Dienstag, Mittwoch, usw.)
|this Tuesday||(am) kommenden Dienstag|
|last Wednesday||letzten Mittwoch|
|the Thursday after next||übernächsten Donnerstag|
|every other Friday||jeden zweiten Freitag|
|Today is Tuesday.||Heute ist Dienstag.|
|Tomorrow is Wednesday.||Morgen ist Mittwoch.|
|Yesterday was Monday.||Gestern war Montag.|
A few words about the dative case, which is used as the object of certain prepositions (as with dates) and as the indirect object of a verb.
Here we are concentrating on the use of the accusative and dative in expressing dates. Here is a chart of those changes.
|EXAMPLES: am Dienstag (on Tuesday, dative), jeden Tag (every day, accusative)|
|NOTE: The masculine (der) and neuter (das) make the same changes (look the same) in the dative case. Adjectives or numbers used in the dative will have an –en ending: am sechsten April.|
Now we want to apply the information in the chart above. When we use the prepositions an (on) and in (in) with days, German months or dates, they take the dative case. Days and months are masculine, so we end up with a combination of an or in plus dem, which equals am or im. To say “in May” or “in November” you use the prepositional phrase im Mai or im November.
However, some date expressions that do not use prepositions (jeden Dienstag, letzten Mittwoch) are in the accusative case.
The Months (Die Monate) – German Months
The German months are all masculine gender (der). There are two words used for July. Juli (YOOH-NEE) is the standard form, but German-speakers often say Julei (YOO-LYE) to avoid confusion with Juni- in much the same way that zwo is used for zwei.
|Die Monate – The Months|
The Four Seasons (Die vier Jahreszeiten)
The seasons are all masculine gender (except for das Frühjahr, another word for spring). The months for each season above are, of course, for the northern hemisphere where Germany and the other German-speaking countries lie.
When speaking of a season in general (“Autumn is my favorite season.”), in German you almost always use the article: “Der Herbst ist meine Lieblingsjahreszeit.” The adjectival forms shown below translate as “springlike, springy,” “summerlike” or “autumnal, falllike” (sommerliche Temperaturen = “summerlike/summery temperatures”). In some cases, the noun form is used as a prefix, as in die Winterkleidung = “winter clothing” or die Sommermonate = “the summer months.” The prepositional phrase im (in dem) is used for all the seasons when you want to say, for instance, “in (the) spring” (im Frühling). This is the same as for the months.
|Die Jahreszeiten – The Seasons|
|März, April, Mai
im Frühling – in the spring
|Juni, Juli, August
im Sommer – in the summer
|Sept., Okt., Nov.
im Herbst – in the fall/autumn
|Dez., Jan., Feb.
im Winter – in the winter
Prepositional Phrases with Dates
To give a date, such as “on July 4th,” you use am (as with the days) and the ordinal number (4th, 5th): am vierten Juli, usually written am 4. Juli. The period after the number represents the -ten ending on the number and is the same as the -th, -rd, or -nd ending used for English ordinal numbers.
Note that numbered dates in German (and in all of the European languages) are always written in the order of day, month, year – rather than month, day, year. For example, in German the date 1/6/01 would be written 6.1.01 (which is Epiphany or Three Kings, the 6th of January 2001). This is the logical order, moving from the smallest unit (the day) to the largest (the year). Here are some commonly used phrases for the months and calendar dates:
|Calendar Date Phrases|
(in June, October, etc.)
(im Juni, Oktober, usw.)
|on June 14th (spoken)
on June 14, 2001 (written)
|am vierzehnten Juni
am 14. Juni 2001 – 14.7.01
|on the first of May (spoken)
on May 1, 2001 (written)
|am ersten Mai
am 1. Mai 2001 – 1.5.01
The ordinal numbers are so-called because they express the order in a series, in this case for dates.
But the same principle applies to the “first door” (die erste Tür) or the “fifth element” (das fünfte Element).
In most cases, the ordinal number is the cardinal number with a -te or -ten ending. Just as in English, some German numbers have irregular ordinals: one/first (eins/erste) or three/third (drei/dritte). Below is a sample chart with ordinal numbers that would be required for dates.
|Sample Ordinal Numbers (Dates)|
|1 the first – on the first/1st||der erste – am ersten/1.|
|2 the second – on the second/2nd||der zweite – am zweiten/2.|
|3 the third – on the third/3rd||der dritte – am dritten/3.|
|4 the fourth – on the fourth/4th||der vierte – am vierten/4.|
|5 the fifth – on the fifth/5th||der fünfte – am fünften/5.|
|6 the sixth – on the sixth/6th||der sechste – am sechsten/6.|
|11 the eleventh
on the eleventh/11th
|der elfte – am elften/11.|
|21 the twenty-first
on the twenty-first/21st
|31 the thirty-first
on the thirty-first/31st
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