It is important to know how to write dates in Ukrainian in order to avoid confusion.
Once I read a joke: “Describe your perfect date. — It is DD/MM/YY. Other ways are more confusing.” It is funny because it is so true for Ukrainians!
Dates in Ukrainian: learning the basics
1. Order of the date
The order is the following: day, month, and year. It is the same for both written and spoken Ukrainian.
2. How to write dates in Ukrainian
There are 3 options.
First, you can use numbers only. They are separated by periods (most commonly), dashes, or slashes.
Second, you can spell out the month. Watch out: do not capitalize it and do not use any punctuation.
Finally, you may write the long form: use words for both the day and month. It is a must for school children when they write the date in their notebooks. Look at the date in the middle:
This form is rather formal, mostly used in documents. Note: we hardly ever spell out the year.
- Двадцять четверте серпня 1991 року.
The twenty-fourth of August 1991.
As you can see, двадцять четверте is the ordinal number. Both серпня and року are the genitive case of nouns.
Below you can learn the names and forms of the months, the types of numbers we use for the dates, as well as how to say the year in Ukrainian.
Vocabulary to talk about dates in Ukrainian
1. Months in Ukrainian
You cannot write the date in Ukrainian without knowing the names of the months. In order to spell and pronounce them, you should review them from time to time.
To form dates in Ukrainian, you will need the genitive forms of the month. Note them below:
- January – січень – січня
- February – лютий – лютого
- March – березень – березня
- April – квітень – квітня
- May – травень – травня
- June – червень – червня
- July – липень – липня
- August – серпень – серпня
- September – вересень – вересня
- October – жовтень – жовтня
- November – листопад – листопада
- December – грудень – грудня
Clearly, this case is used not only to write dates in Ukrainian. Learn more about the usage of the genitive case in Ukrainian.
2. Ordinal numbers in Ukrainian
To say the dates in Ukrainian, we use ordinal numbers. If you don’t already know them, reading and writing dates can be a good way to practice.
When saying the dates in Ukrainian, you will need the ordinal number of the neuter gender:
- сьоме березня
- п’ятнадцяте квітня
Bear in mind that if the number consists of multiple words, you only need to change the last word:
- двадцять шосте вересня
- тридцять перше грудня
Watch out! If the question contains the word коли when the appropriate reply is the genitive case of the ordinal number:
- Коли він повернеться? — П’ятого липня.
When is he coming back? — On the 5th of July.
- Коли відбулися перші президентські вибори в Україні? — Першого грудня 1991 року.
When did the first presidential elections take place in Ukraine? — December 1, 1991.
3. Saying a year in Ukrainian
Just like in English, Ukrainians do not normally spell out the year. But again, you need to know how to pronounce and spell it to be able to understand the person you are talking with.
Unlike English speakers, Ukrainians do not break the year in two: 1967 is not nineteen sixty-seven but тисяча дев’ятсот шістдесят сьомий which could be translated as the thousand nine hundred sixty-seventh.
First, say the thousands, then the hundreds, which are followed by the tens and ones. Watch out: we use the ordinal numbers for years as well! Thus, only the last word has its specific form again:
- тисяча дев’ятсот дев’яносто шостий рік
- дві тисячі вісімнадцятий рік
Remember: when saying the date in Ukrainian, we use either genitive or locative case:
- Мій тато народився тисяча дев’ятсот шістдесят сьомого року.
My dad was born in 1967.
- Моя мама народилася у тисяча дев’ятсот шістдесят дев’ятому році.
My mom was born in 1969.
More useful time expressions in Ukrainian
1. Days of the week in Ukrainian
Occasionally, when writing a date, you want to include the day of the week too. Like months, days are not capitalized in Ukrainian. As you may already know, we start the week on Monday.
2. Words expressing time in Ukrainian
When dealing with a short time period, it may be easier to avoid using dates altogether. By using the following words like сьогодні today or завтра tomorrow you sound more natural.
Learn more time expressions in Ukrainian!
3. Seasons in Ukrainian
When you’re writing about a long period of time, you might also need to specify the season.
4. Questions about time in Ukrainian
Finally, when you are too relaxed (or maybe too overworked) to take notice of the days passing by, sometimes you need a question about what day it is. Usually, Ukrainians ask:
- Який сьогодні день?
What day is today?
It is also used to ask about days of the week. To be more specific, say:
- Яке сьогодні число?
What date is it today?
If you would like to know somebody’s date of birth, you ask:
- Яка ваша дата народження?
What is your date of birth?
Bear in mind that this question is rather formal. If you do not need to know a full date including the year, you can say:
- Коли в тебе день народження?
When is your birthday?
Practice makes perfect, so practice writing dates by leaving a comment with your birthday. Write it in Ukrainian, of course 😉
Learn or review the names of months and days of the week with Ukrainian Lessons Podcast episode >
ULP 1-15 | Days of the week and months in Ukrainian + Pronunciation Trainer (how to pronounce soft consonants)
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