You may think “date” is very easy to learn in Chinese Mandarin, but it is very important and used in many occasions. For example, you boss asks you “今天几号？(What is the date today?)/今天星期几？(What day is today?)” at company, your friends may ask you “我们哪天见面？(When do we meet?)”, you ask your client “您什么时候有空? (When is a good time for you? )”, etc.
Since there are many cases to express or ask date in Chinese Mandarin, let’s talk about it case by case.
What is the date today? (今天几号？)
Now we are too busy even forget the date of today. I think you must have such moment. You are filling a form, and you don’t know today’s date when you are trying to write the date. At this moment, you can ask others “今天是几号来着”. Another example is that, after the Chinese New Year, many Chinese still think it’s last year because the new year of Chinese Lunar Calendar is late than solar calendar.
As a foreigner, you don’t need to pay much attention to Chinese Lunar Calendar because it’s generally used for some Chinese holidays like “清明节 (Tomb-Sweeping DayTomb-Sweeping Day)”, “端午节 (Dragon Boat Festival)”.
People may ask you the date of week in different expression. I list up all the possible cases here as shown below.
What day is today (问别人星期几)
If someone asks you “今天星期几？(What day is today)”, you can answer them by “星期一/二/三/四/五/六/天”. Please note that Sunday is express as “星期天” or “周日/周天/礼拜天”. And some Chinese may express “星期” as “礼拜” (“星期一/二/三/四/五/六/天” = “礼拜一/二/三/四/五/六/天” = “周一/二/三/四/五/六/日”). Actually, “周一/二/三/四/五/六/日” is used by much more people because it just has two Chinese characters other than three Chinese characters like “星期一” or “礼拜一/二/三/四/五/六/天”. I am not saying Chinese is lazy. People speaking different language tend to use a simpler expression, such as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is called SEC.
I list up all the possible cases here as shown below.
- 今天是星期…？(speak it in a falling tune)