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How To Say the 12 Months of the Year in Spanish

by Rosetta Stone
Spanish calendar showing enero

Are you ready to learn about the 12 months of the year in Spanish? It’s important to not only know how to say all the months in Spanish but also how to use them in everyday conversations. Learning how to talk about the different months of the year in Spanish will help you make future plans and take a trip down memory lane with others. 

Read on for some important grammar rules, helpful expressions for talking about the months in Spanish, and some fun facts about the origins of each month’s name!

Spanish months

Here is a list of the 12 months of the year in Spanish: 

Septemberseptiembre or setiembre

How to spell “September” in Spanish

You’ll notice that the month of September can be spelled in two different ways: septiembre and setiembre. The spelling varies because the Spanish-speaking world is so large in terms of both geography and population. While septiembre is usually used, some countries, Costa Rica for example, use setiembre more widely. The easiest way to determine the proper spelling is to look at a local calendar!

Grammar of the months in Spanish

The months in Spanish are not capitalized

Unlike in English, the months in Spanish are not capitalized. The only exception is when they’re used at the start of a sentence or part of a title. 

The months in Spanish are masculine 

All of the months in Spanish are masculine singular nouns. That means you should use masculine articles (el, un) and the masculine form of adjectives when describing months in Spanish. For example: 

  • El próximo junio, voy a cumplir treinta años. = Next June, I will turn 30. 
  • Fue un julio caluroso. = It was a hot July. 

But unless you’re using adjectives, like the two examples above, you don’t need to use an article when talking about the months in Spanish. For example: 

  • ¡Vamos a México en enero! = Let’s go to Mexico in January!  
  • Las clases no empiezan hasta septiembre. = Classes don’t begin until September. 

How to say the date in Spanish 

In Spanish, the day always comes before the month. This is the case whether you’re writing or speaking Spanish. The structure for dates in Spanish is “el + (day) + de + (month) + de + (year).” For example: 

  • El diez de abril = April 10
  • El siete de noviembre de 2022 = November 7, 2022 

If this pattern is a little confusing to you, it helps to know that the format for abbreviating dates in most Spanish-speaking countries is day/month/year. For example: 

  • 10/04 = April 10
  • 07/11/2022 = November 7, 2022 

Need a refresher on your Spanish numbers? Learn how to count from 1-10 in Spanish.

How to use the months in Spanish in a sentence 

Now that you know how to spell the months in Spanish, let’s look at some helpful vocabulary, common phrases, and example sentences for talking about the months. 

1. In: en 

To express that something will happen in a particular month, use “en + (month).” 

  • Ellos siempre van a México en noviembre. = They always go to Mexico in November.

Note that you generally don’t need to use an article when talking about the months in Spanish. For example, you wouldn’t say “en el noviembre” in the sentence above. 

2. Every: cada

To talk about something that happens every month, say “cada + (month).”

  • Mis padres me visitan cada mayo. = My parents visit me every May. 

3. Before: antes de 

The Spanish word for “before” is antes. To use it in a sentence, add de as a preposition. The correct structure is “antes de + (month).” 

  • Tengo que terminar el proyecto antes de marzo. = I need to finish the project before March.

4. After: después de

The Spanish word for “after” is después. To use it in a sentence, add de as a preposition. Say “después de + (month)” to express that something is happening after a particular month.

  • Después de agosto, voy a vivir en Madrid. = After August, I am going to live in Madrid.

5. Since: desde 

To talk about an event that started in the past, say “desde + (month).” 

  • Estoy aprendiendo español desde septiembre. = I have been studying Spanish since September. 

6. Until: hasta

Use “hasta + (month)” to talk about something happening until a certain month. 

  • Voy a estar en Buenos Aires hasta febrero. = I am going to be in Buenos Aires until February. 

7. Next: próximo or que viene 

To express the “next” or “coming” month in Spanish, you can use próximo or que viene interchangeably. 

Unlike the previous phrases in this list, you do need to include the article el when talking about “next month” in Spanish. That’s because “next” is used as an adjective. 

Use “el + próximo + (month)orel + (month) + que vieneto talk about something that is happening in a future month. Examples: 

  • Voy a viajar a Colombia el próximo octubre. = I will travel to Colombia next October.
  • El octubre que viene, voy a viajar a Colombia. = Next October, I will travel to Colombia.

8. Last: pasado 

Just like “next,” “last” is also an adjective, which is why you need to include the article el. Further, pasado works like a traditional adjective in Spanish in that it comes directly after the noun. 

To talk about something that occurred in a previous month, use “el + (month) + pasado.” 

  • El diciembre pasado, celebramos la navidad en Ecuador. = Last December, we celebrated Christmas in Ecuador.

Origins of the names of the months in Spanish

As a Romance language, Spanish contains a good number of words of Latin origin. The names of the months have origins not only in Latin but also in the culture of the Roman Empire. The names of the first eight months derive from Roman culture.  

  • Enero is named after the Roman god Janus. Janus was a god with two faces, who looked to both the past and the future.
  • Febrero is named after purification ceremonies that typically took place during this month.
  • Marzo is named after Mars, the Roman god of war.
  • Abril is named after the verb abrir (meaning “to open”) in Spanish. April was spring in Rome, a time when flowers bloomed.  
  • Mayo is named after Maia, the nurturing mother.
  • Junio is named after Juno, the goddess of the home.
  • Julio is named after Julius Caesar.  
  • Agosto is named after Caesar Augustus.

The remaining months are named by their order in the Roman calendar. September, the ninth month in our calendar, was actually the seventh month in the Roman calendar. October was the eighth month, and so on. The names of these months are different from their ordinal counterparts in Spanish, but it is easy to see how they are related. 

  • Septiembre was the seventh month (Spanish: séptimo).  
  • Octubre was the eighth month (Spanish: octavo). 
  • Noviembere was the ninth month (Spanish: noveno).
  • Diciembre was the tenth month (Spanish: décimo).

Rhymes to remember the number of days per month

If you have trouble remembering how many days there are in each month, there is a rhyme in Spanish to help with that. Here are a few variations:

Treinta días trae septiembre, 
con abril, junio y noviembre.  
Los demás con treinta y uno, 
menos febrero el loco que sólo tiene veintiocho.
Treinta días trae noviembre, 
como abril, junio y septiembre; 
de veintiocho no hay más que uno; 
los demás, de treinta y uno. 

Learn how to use the months in Spanish conversations

Are you interested in learning how to use the months in conversation with Spanish-speaking friends? Rosetta Stone can help you learn a language faster and more confidently than you would if you studied on your own.

Hone your language skills with bite-sized lessons that immerse you in a language with images and audio from native speakers rather than pages of vocabulary, and get immediate feedback on your pronunciation with Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent technology. You can also schedule a session with one of our expert language tutors to practice your speaking skills. Visit rosettastone.com or practice on the go with the Rosetta Stone app to start your language journey today!

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