Writing dates in Russian:

Russia follows the universal or European format of writing dates – Day/Month/Year. The date is usually written as 20/12/20 or 20.12.20.  This order is used in both the all-numeric date (for example, 28.08.20) and the expanded form (for example, 20 августа 2020 г.) Little r. stands for the word “года” or year.

When writing dates, Russians put the date first followed by the month and separated by a period:
04.07 = July 4th

When saying the date, it is usually pronounced using the ordinal number of the day first (in neutral grammatical gender), then the month (for example Двадцать восьмое августа).

The first word is the number of the date, and it is given as an ordinal adjective in the neuter gender. So it’s “The twenty-eighth’s.” The gender is neuter because it matches the gender of the word “число,” which means “number.”

The second word is the month name, which is given in the genitive case. The concept of “genitive case” can be translated here as “of January.” Russian doesn’t have a preposition like “of,” and that’s where the genitive case ending is used.

Какое сегодня число? – (Kakoe sevodnya chislo?) -What’s the date today?

Сегодня пятое марта. – Today is the fifth of March.

Sometimes Russians will use Roman numerals for the month:
04.VII –The 4th of July.

Dates can answer the question когда? (when), or какого числа? (on what date):

When will they come home? – Они приедут седьмого ноября.

On what date will they come home? – They will come on the seventh of November.

Telling time in Russian:

When telling time, Russians either use 24-hour time or 12-hour time with the words “утра”(of morning), “дня “(of day), “вечера” (of evening) or “ночи” (of night) added.  The 12-hour system is common in everyday conversation, while the 24-hour system is used in formal settings.

To ask what time it is, say сколько времени? (SKOLka VREmeni) or который час?(kaTOriy CHAS). Both phrases are neutral and suitable for any situation, however, который час? can sound a little more formal.

Just as you would in English, you can simply say the hour and the minutes when telling time:

два сорок (DVA SOrak)- two-forty

Notice that when it comes to 1 o’clock, you can still say the hour and the minutes but instead of один (aDEEN), meaning one, say час (CHAS), which means hour.


час двадцать (CHAS DVATsat) – one-twenty

You can also add the words часа (chaSA) or часов (chaSOF), both meaning hours, as well as минута (meeNOOta) or минут (meeNOOT), meaning minutes:

Три часа тринадцать минут (TREE chaSA pytNATsat meeNOOT)
Three hours fifteen minutes.

Russians say “без + the number of minutes remained + минуты/минут + the hour that will come” when there remains less than half an hour till the beginning of a certain hour.

For example, без пяти минут два (1:55)

без четверти десять (9:45).

Another way to tell time:

If the time is at quarter past the hour, use пятнадцать минут followed by the hour). You can also say четверть followed by the hour.

For example,  Пятнадцать минут третьего (pytNATsat miNOOT TRETyeva) – Fifteen minutes past three

Четверть первого (CHETvert PERvava) – Quarter past twelve

If the time is at half past the hour, use половина followed by the hour or the abbreviated пол-, also followed by the hour. The abbreviated пол- becomes the beginning of the word: пол+hour.

For example, Половина пятого (palaVEEna PYAtava)- – Half-past four

Полседьмого (polsyd’MOva) – – Half-past six

How do they say days of the week in Russian?

  • ponyedyel’nik (puh-nee-D‘EHL‘-neek) – Monday
  • vtornik (FTOHRneek) –Tuesday
  • sryeda (sreeDAH) – Wednesday
  • chyetvyerg (cheetV‘EHRK) –Thursday
  • pyatnitsa (P‘AHTnee-tsuh) – Friday
  • subbota (soo-BOH-tuh) – Saturday
  • voskryesyen’ye (vuhs-kree-S‘EHN‘ye) –Sunday

Note that days of the week are not capitalized.