Spanish/Lessons/¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?

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Lesson 2 — ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
Pico Aneto, in the Pyrenees.

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

Raúl: ¡Hola, Sofía! Me llamo Raúl. ¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy?
Sofía: Hola, Raúl. Hoy es el diecisiete de octubre.
Raúl: Muchas gracias. Mi cumpleaños es el viernes.
Sofía: ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
Raúl: Gracias. ¿Cuántos años tienes?
Sofía: Tengo veinte años.
Raúl: Vale. Adiós, Sofía.
Sofía: ¡Hasta luego!

Translation (wait until the end of the lesson).

The numbers[edit | edit source]

0. Cero
1. Uno 11. Once 21. Veintiuno 31. Treinta y uno 50. Cincuenta 600. Seiscientos
2. Dos 12. Doce 22. Veintidós 32. Treinta y dos 60. Sesenta 700. Setecientos
3. Tres 13. Trece 23. Veintitrés 33. Treinta y tres 70. Setenta 800. Ochocientos
4. Cuatro 14. Catorce 24. Veinticuatro 34. Treinta y cuatro 80. Ochenta 900. Novecientos
5. Cinco 15. Quince 25. Veinticinco 35. Treinta y cinco 90. Noventa 1,000. Mil
6. Seis 16. Dieciséis 26. Veintiséis 36. Treinta y seis 100. Cien 2,000. Dos mil
7. Siete 17. Diecisiete 27. Veintisiete 37. Treinta y siete 200. Doscientos 10,000. Diez mil
8. Ocho 18. Dieciocho 28. Veintiocho 38. Treinta y ocho 300. Trescientos 100,000. Cien mil
9. Nueve 19. Diecinueve 29. Veintinueve 39. Treinta y nueve 400. Cuatrocientos 101,000. Ciento un mil
10. Diez 20. Veinte 30. Treinta 40. Cuarenta 500. Quinientos 1,000,000. Un millón

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • To form the numbers from thirty to one hundred, you take the multiple of ten below it, then y, then its units value:

"54" Cincuenta y cuatro Like, fifty and four

"72" Setenta y dos Like, seventy and two

"87" Ochenta y siete Like, eighty and seven

  • To say one hundred you say just cien, never un cien. To form the numbers from one hundred to two hundred, you turn cien into ciento before adding the rest of the number:

"101" Ciento uno

"128" Ciento veintiocho

"150" Ciento cincuenta

"199" Ciento noventa y nueve

  • For numbers between 200 and 900, use the plural "s" (doscientos, ochocientos). Also beware of the usage of these numbers with feminine nouns like the old Spanish currency "peseta". You need to use the feminine agreement then: doscientas pesetas. That agreement has to be observed even when it's in the middle of the number: doscientas veinticinco pesetas.

  • When used before a masculine noun, uno becomes un; before a feminine noun, una. To preserve the stress on the last syllable, veintiuno acquires an acute accent when it becomes veintiún before a masculine noun. Note the same mechanism in operation when writing 16 (diez + seis) = dieciséis or 22 (veinte + dos) = veintidós.

  • Spanish uses the long count style:

1,000,000,000 mil millones / un millardo (less common)

1,000,000,000,000 un billón

1,000,000,000,000,000 mil billones / un billardo (rare)

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 un trillón

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 mil trillones / un trillardo (rare)

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 un cuatrillón

The rule of thumb is to count how many "millions" are in the digits:

1 (000 000) (000 000) (000 000) is un trillón, because there are three ("tri") multiples of millions.

  • Longer numbers:

12,521,008,867,121,403,051 Doce trillones quinientos veintiún mil ocho billones ochocientos sesenta y siete mil ciento veintiún millones cuatrocientos tres mil cincuenta y uno

68,076,564,322,676,958,606 Sesenta y ocho trillones setenta y seis mil quinientos sesenta y cuatro billones trescientos veintidós mil seiscientos setenta y seis millones novecientos cincuenta y ocho mil seiscientos seis

Note that the words millones, billones, trillones are written in plural, but mil (thousand) is always kept in singular, even when counting several thousands. However, if you need to refer to an amount in several thousands without specifying how many, you can use the plural miles (He escrito miles de cartas = I've written thousands of letters). For this same purpose, you can use the synonym millares.

Similarly, there is the plural cientos (He escrito cientos de cartas = I've written hundreds of letters). Centenas and centenares are less common synonyms for cientos.

All those synonyms have forms in singular (Un millar de cartas = One thousand letters; Una centena / Un centenar de cartas = One hundred letters). These synonyms are not used for actually counting, though.

There is also decena, which means a group of ten.

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Tengo diecisiete gatos
    I have 17 cats.
  • Hay treinta y cinco aulas
    There are 35 classrooms.
  • Tengo noventa y seis primos.
    I have 96 cousins.
  • Hay once estudiantes en la clase de español.
    There are 11 students in the spanish class.
  • ¡Quiero un caramelo!
    I want a candy!
  • ¡Quiero uno!
    I want one!

To declare the presence or existence of something (e.g. "there is," "there are"), Spanish uses hay, which is a special conjugation of the verb haber (to have). Its past form ("there was," "there were") is hubo. Another form in the past (meaning roughly "there used to be") is había. Its future form ("there will be") is habrá. All these forms are invariable in singular and plural: Había un gato aquí, Había dos gatos aquí. Attempting to construct plural forms of them ("habían", "habrán") is a very common error and is severely frowned upon.

Go to the exercises.

How old are you?[edit | edit source]

To ask someone else's age in Spanish, use Cuántos años, then one of the entries in the table below (¿Cuántos años tienes? means "How old are you?", or more literally, "How many years do you have?")

To say your age in Spanish, you use the irregular verb tener (which means "to have"), then your age, then años (which means "years"). For example, Tengo trece años means "I have 13 years" or "I am 13 years old".

Spanish Verb • ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
Tener To have

Inglés Español
I have (Yo) Tengo
You (familiar, singular) have (Tú) Tienes
He/She/You (formal, singular)/It has (Él/Ella/Usted) Tiene
We have (Nosotros) Tenemos
You (familar, plural) have (Vosotros) Tenéis
They/You (formal, plural) have (Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes) Tienen
  • "Tenéis" would only be used in Spain. In Latin America, one would use "Tienen" for both the second and third plural persons.
  • Tengo veinte años
    I am 20 years old.
  • ¿Cuántos años tienes?
    How old are you?
  • Tiene ochenta y siete años.
    He is 87 years old.
  • ¿Cuántos años tienen?
    How old are they?

Go to the exercises.

What's the date today?[edit | edit source]

To ask for the date in Spanish, you use ¿Cuál es la fecha? or ¿Qué día es hoy? (meaning "What is the date?", or "What day is today?"). In reply, you would say Hoy es [day of the week], [date of the month] de [month of the year] (For example, Hoy es martes veinticinco de mayo is "Today is Tuesday, the 25th of May").

Spanish Vocabulary • ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
Los meses del año The months of the year

Inglés Español
January enero
February febrero
March marzo
April abril
May mayo
June junio
July julio
August agosto
September septiembre
October octubre
November noviembre
December diciembre

Spanish Vocabulary • ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
Los días de la semana The days of the week

Inglés Español
Monday lunes
Tuesday martes
Wednesday miércoles
Thursday jueves
Friday viernes
Saturday sábado
Sunday domingo
  • Neither days of the week nor months of the year are capitalised, unless at the beginning of sentences.
  • On the first of the month, some Spanish speakers say primero [First] (Hoy es domingo primero de enero).
  • You may still find the spelling setiembre in books from the early 20th century. It emerged from the way some countries pronounce the consonants in it. This spelling is not standard usage and you should avoid using it.
  • ¿Qué fecha es hoy? (¿A qué estamos? is used too.)
    What is the date?
  • Hoy es miércoles veintinueve de septiembre.
    Today is Wednesday, the 29th of September
  • Hoy es jueves quince de agosto.
    Today is Thursday, the 15th of August.
  • Hoy es sábado dos de enero.
    Today is Saturday, the 2nd of January.

Go to the exercises.

When's your birthday?[edit | edit source]

Although birthday translates as cumpleaños, they do not imply the same exact meaning. In English, birthday literally refers to the day of your birth, so it is possible to wish happy birthday to a newborn. In Spanish, cumpleaños literally means "completing a year" and is only used for the day in subsequent years that matches the date on which you were born. Thus, you would never say "feliz cumpleaños" to a newborn, since he still hasn't "completed a year."

Spanish Vocabulary • ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
Cumpleaños Birthday

Inglés Español
When is your birthday? ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
My birthday is Mi cumpleaños es
On the first of May El primero de mayo
On Wednesday El miércoles
Happy birthday! ¡Feliz cumpleaños!
  • Mi cumpleaños es el once de julio.
    My birthday is on the 11th of July.
  • Mi cumpleaños es el ocho de diciembre.
    My birthday is on the 8th of December.
  • ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
    When is your birthday?
  • Mi cumpleaños es el sábado.
    My birthday is on Saturday.

Go to the exercises.

Summary[edit | edit source]

In this lesson, you have learned:

  • How to count from cero to one septillion (cero; veintiocho; noventa; cien; un cuatrillón)
  • The days of the week (lunes; miércoles; viernes)
  • The months of the year (enero; abril; octubre; diciembre)
  • How to say your age (Tengo cuarenta años)
  • How to ask the age of others (¿Cuántos años tienes?)
  • How to say today's date (Hoy es jueves veintinueve de noviembre)
  • How to say your birthday (Mi cumpleaños es el primero de agosto; mi cumpleaños es el martes)
  • How to ask the birthday of others (¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?)

You should now do the exercise related to each section (found here), and translate the dialogue at the top before moving on to lesson 3...


Learn the Spanish language
Lesson oneLesson twoLesson three
Lesson fourLesson fiveLesson six
Lesson sevenLesson eightLesson nine