What comes before AD or BC

The date in English with abbreviations

1. General

For correct spelling and pronunciation of the date, you have to have a good command of the month names and the ordinal numbers.

The pronunciation of the year

1900nineteen hundred
1901nineteen hundred (and) one
nineteen oh-one
1995nineteen ninety-five
2000two thousand
twenty hundred
2002two thousand (and) two
twenty oh-two
2010two thousand (and) ten
twenty ten

The usual pronunciation of the year is: Separation of the year into two Tens.

1985 so we in the 19 and the 85 divided up. (Pronunciation: nineteen eighty-five).

This separation is not normally made for the years from 2000 to 2009. One simply speaks the normal number:

  • 2000 = two thousand
  • 2001 = two thousand (and) one

The word other is mostly left out. From 2010 the year numbers will again be in two Tens Cut.

2010 will be in the 20 and the 10 divided up. (Pronunciation: twenty ten).

2. Spelling and pronunciation of the date in British English

Basic rule: day - month - year

  Day monthyear
One writes: 1st January,2010
They say:thefirstofJanuarytwenty ten

► The two letters after the number and also the comma are often left out.

3. Spelling and pronunciation of the date in American English

Basic rule: month - day - year

 month Dayyear
One writes:January 1st,2010
They say:January(the) *firsttwenty ten

* When speaking, the article can the can also be omitted.

4.Example sentences and the correct prepositions:

  • I was born in 1999. (If the year stands alone, then it says in.)
  • I was born in August. (If the month stands alone, then it says in.)
  • I was born on 12th May, 2000. (The full date says on.)

5. Abbreviations BC, AD, BCE, CE:

Sometimes the year is followed by BC or AD.


1060 BC (ten sixty B.efore C.hrist) - (German: BC = before Christ or BC = before our era)

1060 AD (ten sixty A.nno D.omini) - This is taken from Latin and means 'in the year of the Lord'. (German: AD = after Christ or u. Z. = our calendar)

Nowadays the abbreviations BCE and CE are often used.

1060 BCE (ten sixty B.before the C.ommon /C.current /C.hristian E.ra) - (German: v. u. Z. = before our era)

1060 CE (ten sixty C.ommon /C.current /C.hristian E.ra) - (German: u. Z. = our calendar)

  • 1060 BC = 1060 BCE
  • 1060 AD = 1060 CE

6. Special features

The month is often just a number. November 13, 2010 is also written like this:

British English

  • 13-11-2010
  • 13/11/2010
  • 13.11.2010

American English

  • 11-13-2010
  • 11/13/2010
  • 11.13.2010

As long as the day is between 13 and 31, there are misunderstandings, but they are mostly recognized because there are only 12 months.

If you write 4-8-1995, for example, then in Great Britain you assume August 4, 1995, in the USA, however, April 8, 1995. (The author of the website once ignored this. August 1995 in Yosemite National Park - California - book an overnight stay and reserved for the 4-8-1995. Fortunately, he was informed that the park was not yet open at that time - in April.)

Thanks to Sharon.