Beginner Lesson 13.1 – Date and Birthday

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Date In Chinese With Year, Month And Day | Birthday In Chinese

Learn how to tell date in Chinese and say your birthday in Chinese. Be able to tell the year, month, and day in Chinese.

  • Year, month and day in Chinese: 年  月  日
  • Ask and tell date in Chinese
  • Ask and tell Birthday in Chinese



Grammar 1: Date in Chinese · HSK 1/2

__nián__yuè__rì   __年__月__日   __year__month__day
__nián__yuè__hào   __年__月__号   __year__month__day

When telling date in Chinese, we say the year first, then the month, and then the day. Year, month and day in Chinese are nián , yuè , rì / hào . So for "day", there are two ways to say it: 日 and 号. 日 is more of written language. For example, April 26 2017 can be written as the following in Chinese

  • 2017年4月26日
  • 2017年4月26号
  • 二零一七年四月二十六日
  • 二零一七年四月二十六号


Grammar 2: Ask Date in Chinese · HSK 1

jǐjǐ nián jǐ yuè jǐ rì 几几年几月几日 what year what month what day
jǐjǐ nián jǐ yuè jǐ hào 几几年几月几号 what year what month what day

Since dates are written with numbers, when asking about date in Chinese, we need to use the Question Word 几, which can be used to ask questions regarding uncertain numbers.


Grammar 3: Ask and Answer Birthday in Chinese · HSK 2

shēngrì 生日 birthday

生 means "to give birth" in Chinese. 日 means "day" in Chinese. "生日" together means birthday in Chinese. Example of asking and answer birthday in Chinese:

Q: nǐde shēngrì shì jǐjǐnián jǐyuè jǐrì
      what date is your birthday
A: wǒde shēngrì shì yījiǔbāqīnián sìyuè 'èrshíliùrì
      my birthday is 1987, April 26


Q: nǐde shēngrì shì jǐjǐnián jǐyuè jǐhào
      what date is your birthday
A: wǒde shēngrì shì yījiǔbāqīnián sìyuè 'èrshíliùhào
      my birthday is 1987, April 26

Collapse Comments
Daniel Ortega de la MoraPremium Student May 16, 2024 at 11:01 pm

November 31st doesn´t exist:)

Jeffrey SurrattPremium Student July 25, 2023 at 10:26 pm

Why not say – nǐ de shēngrì shì shénme shíhou??

You said that 几年 means “how many years” and not “which year” and that’s why we need to write 几几年 when asking about a person’s year of birth. But would it not be the same with the month, would 几月 not mean “how many months” instead of “which month”? Because we use only one 几 when we ask about a person’s month of birth.
Best regards and thanks for this great learning platform, Melanie

JuliaYPremium Student June 30, 2021 at 10:30 am

老师,why isn’t it possible to use 吗? Something like 你的生日是吗?

lill_m8Premium Student August 1, 2023 at 8:03 am

I think that 吗 is supposed to be used in yes and no questions.

常慧 (Cháng Huì)Premium Student March 29, 2021 at 3:54 pm

Is there any difference between 号 and 日?

They say telling dates is easy, but how do you teach a beginner how to tell dates using the rule?

Lacey JoPremium Student August 20, 2020 at 7:42 pm

Lili, I see that other students have pointed out that there is no November 31st. I came to the comments to specifically say that I think you knew full well that there is no November 31st and you were being playful. I base this theory on the playful little smile you got in the video as you said November 31st. Doesn’t matter if I’m right – I just enjoy thinking that you did this on purpose because it amused you! 🙂

How do I say October 18

ApplePieGiraffePremium Student August 6, 2019 at 1:34 am

Is there a shorter way of asking someone their birthday? “你的生日是几几年几月几号?” is really long!

Pili HdzPremium Student June 25, 2022 at 12:25 pm

lol, I thought exactly the same. But it’s one of those things that make this language so beautiful and interesting.

Jeff JohnsonPremium Student July 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

When I am not asking for the year, but only the month and day. Do I still use jí jǐ ? Example: 谢老师的生日是几几月几号? vs. 谢老师的生日是几月几号? Also, should I replace ? with 吗.

“谢老师的生日是几月几号?” would be the correct way to ask.

JoeWolfePremium Student December 11, 2018 at 8:10 pm

oops – there’s no November 31.

michael_12317Premium Student February 24, 2018 at 2:20 am

Dear Lili,
In “几几年” do I need to regard the tone change rule and make it jí jǐ? I am not sure about it because it’s not two syllables of one word but two separated words with third tone.

Regards from Germany (Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland)


Yes the first Third Tone changes into the Second Tone. Please refer to these two lessons:
(1) The Third Tone – Two Third Tones Together
(2) The Third Tone – Three Third Tones in a Row

mtrpop3Premium Student January 23, 2018 at 7:16 am

Lili, November never has more than 30 days, so November 31 in the video is an impossible date!

mooncatPremium Student May 27, 2021 at 4:13 am


ireonPremium Student October 17, 2017 at 12:53 am

can you explain why to ask nian, must have ji ji nian?

Because when asking date in Chinese “几年 jǐ nián ” means “how many years” instead of “which year”.

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