Using ser (not estar) to talk about time, days, dates and seasons

When we want to express data about days, dates, seasons and hours we use the verb ser (not estar).

Have a look and listen to these examples:

Hoy es lunes.
Today is Monday.

Hoy es 25 de septiembre.
Today is the 25th of September.

Ahora es primavera.
It is spring now.

Son las tres de la tarde.
It's three o'clock in the afternoon.

See also Conjugate ser in El Presente (present tense).

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Hoy es 25 de septiembre.
Today is the 25th of September.


Hoy es lunes.
Today is Monday.


Ahora es primavera.
It is spring now.


Son las tres de la tarde.
It's three o'clock in the afternoon.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 3 answers

SherryB1Kwiziq community member

Definite article in dates?

In the A0 lesson "Expressing dates in Spanish" the definite article is used: "El 7 de febrero de 1986", but in this lesson it isn't: "Hoy es 25 de septiembre". Is the definite article only used when the date isn't preceded by "ser"?

Asked 8 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Sherry

The article is needed generally when the phrase containing the date is expressing when something takes place, for example: "El dos de marzo fui al médico para una revisión" (On March 2nd I went to the doctor for a check up.)

If you see just a date written you could read it with or without the article. In the A0 lesson we are just giving examples of different dates, not included in sentences. The lesson is more about seeing the structure of a date in Spanish. 

In this other lesson about using ser to talk about time, dates, etc, the cases with "Hoy es +date" don't need the article, though.

We are going to modify the A0 lesson so it doesn't create confusion about the need of the article. I hope that helps.

Gracias y saludos

Inma

SherryB1Kwiziq community member

Yes, this helps. ¡Gracias, Inma!

MelanieB1Kwiziq community member

You mention that it CAN be used and that you will modify the lesson in A0 to avoid confusion... but if both are correct, is it avoiding confusion, or is it creating more confusion since both are correct?  Why not say that so that we don't think we're wrong b/c we've been using it all this time (and thought - oh no!  I've been doing it wrong! - when it's not.... 

I have the same question about seasons.  Es posible decir "Es la primavera"? o no?  Or would you (could you ) say it in a different context?  I find this sometimes optional use very confusing and want to know when you CAN and when you MUST and when  you SHOULDN'T.    Thank you!

Definite article in dates?

In the A0 lesson "Expressing dates in Spanish" the definite article is used: "El 7 de febrero de 1986", but in this lesson it isn't: "Hoy es 25 de septiembre". Is the definite article only used when the date isn't preceded by "ser"?

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