Numbers – how to read dates

To talk about dates in English, the ordinal numbers are used to refer to the day of the month:


We write: New Year’s Day is 1st January.


We say: New Year’s Day is the first of January.


We write: Her birthday is on 29th March.


We say: Her birthday is on the twenty ninth of March.


To talk about years, they are usually divided into two halves:


1984 = nineteen eighty four (19 / 84)


1066 = ten sixty six (10/66)


1999 = nineteen ninety nine (19/99)


However, this changes with the year 2000, which is read two thousand, and the following years up to 2009 (two thousand and nine):


2001 = two thousand and one


2002 = two thousand and two


2003 = two thousand and three


Until we get to 2010 which can be said either way: two thousand and ten or twenty ten.


The same applies to:


2011 = two thousand and eleven or twenty eleven


2012 = two thousand and twelve or twenty twelve


Up to 2019 = two thousand and nineteen or twenty nineteen.

How not to use swear words

We use this expression to apologise before or after swearing:


Pardon my French, but this is a bloody mess! 


Swear words are often among the first things we learn in a foreign language. However, swearing is considered to be disrespectful and offensive, so here are some ways to express annoyance in English without offending anyone.


Sugar! instead of Shit!


Gosh! instead of God!


What the heck or What on earth…instead of What the hell… (¡Qué demonios…!)


For goodness sake! (¡Por el amor de Dios!)


What in heaven’s name are you doing? (¿Qué demonios estás haciendo?)


You will find more examples in TE! Module 11, Unit 2 in this app.