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Filipino Lessons » Time & Dates » Telling the Date: Anóng petsa na?

Telling the Date: Anóng petsa na?

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When telling the date or petsa, Filipino speakers use two ways. There is a formal way, which uses the date indicator “ika-,” and the informal way with the use of the date indicator “a-.”

To tell the date in the formal way, ordinal numbers are used (ikalawa, ikatlo, ikaapat…) followed by the month and the year(example: Ika-25 ng Hulyo). The way to say the year is by saying "taóng" followed by the cardinal number (example: 2017 taóng dalawanlibo at labimpitó). This is a very formal way of telling the date, which you will usually encounter when reading textbooks (especially books in history). Keep in mind that in writing the date, numbers are used instead of the written form of the numbers (Ika-25, instead of ikadalawampú’t limá).
Markup
Examples:
January 12, 2017
Written:
Ika-12 ng Enero, 2017

Spoken:
Ikalabíng dalawá ng Enero, taon``g dalawáng libo at labímpitó
April 20, 1990
Written:
Ika-20 ng Abríl, 1990

Spoken:
Ikadalawampú ng Abríl, taóng isáng libo, siyám na raán at siyamnapû
May 14, 1993
Written:
Ika-14 ng Mayo, 1993

Spoken:
Ikalabíng-apat ng Mayo, taóng isáng libo, siyám na raán, siyámnapú't tatló
February 1, 1898
Written:
Ika-1 ng Pebrero, 1898

Spoken:
Ika-isá ng Pebrero, taóng isáng libo, walóng daán, siyamnapú't waló
Markup
Examples:
January 12, 2017
Written:
Ika-12 ng Enero, 2017

Spoken:
Ikalabing dalawa ng Enero, taong dalawang libo at labimpito
April 20, 1990
Written:
Ika-20 ng Abril, 1990

Spoken:
Ikadalawampu ng Abril, taong isang libo, siyam na raan at siyamnapu
May 14, 1993
Written:
Ika-14 ng Mayo, 1993

Spoken:
Ikalabing-apat ng Mayo, taong isang libo, siyam na raan, siyamnapu't tatlo
February 1, 1898
Written:
Ika-1 ng Pebrero, 1898

Spoken:
Ika-isa ng Pebrero, taong isang libo, walong daan, siyamnapu't walo
Notice that ika-1 is used instead of “una”. This is a special case where “ika-1” is used.
The informal way of saying the date in Filipino uses Spanish-influenced numbers. Date indicator “a-” (pronounced as “A,” as in the sound produced by the letter A) is used as a replacement for “ika-”. It is then connected to the Spanish-influenced number creating the exact day of the month (example: 15th = a-kinse, 30th = a-trenta). Similar to the formal way, it is then followed by the month (example: November 15, 2017 = A-kinse ng Nobyembre). Since this is just an informal way of saying the date and is usually used for casual conversations, the year is often dropped. Also, this should not be used in written forms.
Markup
Examples:
September 15
Written:
Setyembre 15 / Ika-15 ng Setyembre

Spoken:
A-kinse ng Setyembre
August 20
Written:
Agosto 20 / Ika-20 ng Agosto

Spoken:
A-bente ng Agosto
June 30
Written:
Hunyo 30 / Ika-30 ng Hunyo

Spoken:
A-trenta ng Hunyo
March 13
Written:
Marso 13 / Ika-13 ng Marso

Spoken:
A-trese ng Marso
Markup
Examples:
September 15
Written:
Setyembre 15 / Ika-15 ng Setyembre

Spoken:
A-kinse ng Setyembre
August 20
Written:
Agosto 20 / Ika-20 ng Agosto

Spoken:
A-bente ng Agosto
June 30
Written:
Hunyo 30 / Ika-30 ng Hunyo

Spoken:
A-trenta ng Hunyo
March 13
Written:
Marso 13 / Ika-13 ng Marso

Spoken:
A-trese ng Marso
More often, the month is also dropped, leaving just the date indicator “a-” and the Spanish-influenced number. This is done for scenarios where a person would just want to say the day in the calendar (provided that those involved in the conversation know the month that is being referred to). A person can just ask, “When will she arrive?” This can be answered by just saying the specific number (example: Sa a-kinse).

The most commonly used way, of course, is the English version. Many would just say and write the date in English. Knowing these ways is useful especially when you encounter reading materials (books, newspapers, biographical forms…) or other Filipino speakers that use these ways of telling the date.
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Next: Telling the Date Drill (Formal)

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