It’s just seven simple words. There isn’t much science in them.
I know that the days of the week are probably something you learn quite early on in your Spanish studies.
But one thing is to memorize them, and another thing is to really know how to use them correctly.
Especially considering certain differences between English and Spanish.
Another reason why I have chosen this particular topic is because of its usefulness. This is something I always tell my students, especially at lower levels: “learn the words you are going to use, otherwise you’ll forget them”.
Like the time I decided to learn the names of 30 different types of trees. Now, I can barely remember maybe 5.
But days of the week? You’ll use them all the time!
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To make appointments, to schedule meetings, to invite friends over, to make travel plans or itineraries, to talk about important dates, and so on and so forth.
Our lives – I am sure you’ll agree – are packed with activities that perhaps happen every Friday, or are going to happen next Tuesday, or we used to do on Sunday mornings.
With all this in mind, here’s what you are going to learn today about days of the week in Spanish:
- basic vocabulary and spelling rules (capitalization and accents)
- their gender and related articles (the difference between un and el)
- how to pluralize them (which days don’t change their form in plural)
- most common abbreviations and how to use them in real life
- additional words and expressions (próximo martes, jueves pasado, etc)
- examples of how to use days of the week in a different context
Days of the week in Spanish
I know you said you’d learned Spanish days of the week a long time ago, but there’s no such thing as too much practice, so let’s review them, shall we?
🇪🇸 lunes – 🇬🇧 Monday
🇪🇸 martes – 🇬🇧 Tuesday
🇪🇸 miércoles – 🇬🇧 Wednesday
🇪🇸 jueves – 🇬🇧 Thursday
🇪🇸 viernes – 🇬🇧 Friday
🇪🇸 sábado – 🇬🇧 Saturday
🇪🇸 domingo – 🇬🇧 Sunday
As you see, two of them – miércoles and sábado – have accents. They are not only important for spelling reasons, but they also determine the pronunciation. In these two words, the stress is on the first syllable.
What is the question you make in Spanish when you need to know what day it is?
You use one of the basic question words: ¿qué?
🇪🇸 ¿Qué día es hoy?
🇬🇧 What day is it today?
🇪🇸 Hoy es martes.
🇬🇧 Today is Tuesday.
You can also ask about someone’s favorite day, or the day they like the least.
🇪🇸 ¿Cuál es tu día de la semana favorito?
🇬🇧 What’s your favorite day of the week?
🇪🇸 ¿Qué día de la semana es el que menos te gusta?
🇬🇧 Which day of the week do you like the least?
🇪🇸 ¿Qué día de la semana cae tu cumpleaños este año?
🇬🇧 What day of the week is your birthday this year? (literally: what day does it “fall” on)
4 Rules to remember about days of the week in Spanish
If you want to talk about the days of the week in a wider context, there are a few rules that you need to keep in mind:
1. Days of the week in Spanish do not capitalize unless, of course, they are the first word of a sentence.
The confusion between what words to capitalize and what not is one of the common mistakes English speakers make in Spanish.
Take a look at these 3 examples:
🇪🇸 Hoy es lunes.
🇬🇧 Today is Monday.
🇪🇸 Ayer fue domingo.
🇬🇧 Yesterday was Sunday.
🇪🇸 Mañana será martes.
🇬🇧 Tomorrow will be Tuesday.
See? All days of the week use lower-case letters.
2. Spanish days of the week are masculine. Therefore, when necessary, they are accompanied by the article el or un.
I know, articles can be confusing and they are not what we like the most about Spanish.
But please, bear with me. I’ll do my best to explain how they work with days of the week.
The rule of thumb is:
- When you only focus on the name of the day (like in what day it is, or your favorite day of the week) – no article is necessary. You can check out the examples above to make sure.
- When you talk about a specific day, use the article el.
🇪🇸 El jueves de esta semana es feriado.
🇬🇧 Thursday this week is a holiday.
🇪🇸 Nos vemos el sábado a las ocho.
🇬🇧 See you on Saturday at 8. (it’s understood that it is going to be this Saturday)
🇪🇸 El próximo lunes tenemos prueba.
🇬🇧 We have a test next Monday.
- The article un, on the other hand, is used when you refer to any day of a certain kind.
Take a look at the examples below:
🇪🇸 Era un lunes lluvioso y triste.
🇬🇧 It was a rainy, sad Monday.
🇪🇸 ¿Qué hacer un sábado durante la cuarentena?
🇬🇧 What to do on a Saturday during the lockdown?
🇪🇸 Un domingo sin nada que hacer puede ser muy aburrido.
🇬🇧 A Sunday with nothing to do can be very boring.
A: ¿Cuándo nos podemos ver?
B: ¿Qué tal un lunes a la hora de almuerzo?
A: When can we see each other?
B: How about a Monday, lunchtime?
3. In the plural form, the article you need to use with days of the week is los.
Since all days of the week are grammatically masculine, the article they require in plural form is los, just like in the following sentences:
🇪🇸 Me encantan los sábados porque almorzamos paella.
🇬🇧 I love Saturdays because we have paella for lunch.
🇪🇸 Los domingos siempre son muy estresantes para mí.
🇬🇧 Sundays are very stressful for me.
🇪🇸 Los lunes siempre me deprimo.
🇬🇧 I’m always feeling blue on Mondays.
🇪🇸 Los viernes salgo con mis amigas.
🇬🇧 I go out with my girlfriends on Fridays.
4. The days of the week that finish with an “s” do not change their form in plural.
Only Saturday (sábado) and Sunday (domingo) change their form in plural by adding an “s”.
un sábado – los sábados
un domingo – los domingos
Yet, the other days of the week remain unchanged in plural.
un lunes – los lunes
un martes – los martes
un miércoles – los miércoles
un jueves – los jueves
un viernes – los viernes
Now, pay attention to what it looks like in examples:
🇪🇸 No me gustan los lunes.
🇬🇧 I don’t like Mondays.
🇪🇸 Los viernes tengo clase de tango.
🇬🇧 I have tango lessons on Fridays.
🇪🇸 La señora de aseo viene los martes y los jueves.
🇬🇧 The cleaning lady comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
🇪🇸 Hay un vuelo directo de Lima a Londres solamentes los miércoles.
🇬🇧 There is a non-stop flight from Lima to London only on Wednesdays.
2 ways to abbreviate the days of the week
CU Tue! – (See you on Tuesday)
Mon, June 3
Fri thru Sun
In our racing world, abbreviations are something very common. They are supposed to save us time and deliver our message as soon as possible.
Or should I say ASAP? 😉
Days of the week in Spanish also come with possible abbreviations. Two sets of them to be precise.
The first type – based on the initial 3 letters – is commonly used to schedule meetings, text friends, etc.
The second type, which uses only the first letter of each day of the week, is what you will find in calendars, more than anything else. Only miércoles uses 2 letters to differentiate itself from martes.
Here’s a complete list of these abbreviations:
|Abbreviation 1||Abbreviation 2|
|miércoles||mié / mie||Mi.|
|sábado||sáb / sab||S.|
How to use Spanish days of the week with precision
In real life, things happen not only on specific days but also at specific times of the day.
We say things like: Monday morning, Friday afternoon, etc.
We make plans for next Sunday, or we talk about what we did last Tuesday.
If you want to add a touch of precision to your days of the week in Spanish, here’s a bunch of vocabulary you are going to need:
🇪🇸 miércoles por la mañana
🇬🇧 Wednesday morning
🇪🇸 viernes por la tarde
🇬🇧 Friday afternoon
🇪🇸 sábado por la noche
🇬🇧 Saturday night
🇪🇸 el próximo jueves
🇬🇧 next Thursday
🇪🇸 el lunes que viene
🇬🇧 the coming Monday
🇪🇸 el viernes subsiguiente
🇬🇧 2 Fridays from now
🇪🇸 el martes pasado
🇬🇧 last Tuesday
🇪🇸 el domingo antepasado
🇬🇧 Sunday before last
And here’s a few examples of how to use these expressions in sentences:
🇪🇸 Salgo el viernes por la mañana y vuelvo el domingo por la noche.
🇬🇧 I’m leaving on Monday morning and returning Sunday night.
🇪🇸 El domingo pasado estuve enfermo.
🇬🇧 I was sick last Sunday
🇪🇸 El doctor está ocupado el próximo lunes. ¿Qué le parece el lunes subsiguiente?
🇬🇧 The doctor is busy next Monday. How about two Mondays from now?
🇪🇸 El sábado que viene es mi fiesta de cumpleaños.
🇬🇧 My birthday party is on the coming Saturday.
When you have some official matters to take care of in Spanish speaking countries, or when you are negotiating delivery terms with a Spanish speaking partner, you’ll probably hear the following two expressions more than once:
🇪🇸 días corridos
🇬🇧 calendar days (including Sat and Sun)
🇪🇸 días hábiles
🇬🇧 business days (Mon thru Fri)
So, for instance:
🇪🇸 El trámite de su visa se demora 15 días hábiles.
🇬🇧 Your visa processing will take 15 business days (3 weeks)
🇪🇸 Tiene que esperar 30 días corridos para la entrega de sus productos.
🇬🇧 You have to wait 30 calendar days for the delivery of your products.
5 Ways to use days of the week in a context
Now that we have all our bases covered, let’s see what everyday situations days of the week in Spanish can come in handy.
1. Using Greetings in Spanish
Check out the examples below to see how different days of the week can be used:
🇪🇸 ¡Qué tengas un buen fin de semana!
🇬🇧 Have a good weekend!
🇪🇸 ¡Buen lunes, chicos!
🇬🇧 (Have) a good Monday, guys!
🇪🇸 Nos vemos el jueves.
🇬🇧 See you on Thursday.
🇪🇸 ¿Cómo estuvo tu domingo?
🇬🇧 How was your Sunday?
🇪🇸 ¡Hasta martes!
🇬🇧 See you on Tuesday!
2. Actions or activities that happen on a certain day of the week
This is actually a little tricky. The Spanish language doesn’t require any preposition when saying what day of the week something happens.
Remember, a literal translation is one of the common mistakes people make when learning Spanish, and some things lose their meaning when you try to translate them word by word.
With this in mind, never say:
“en el lunes”, “en los domingos”, or “en el próximo martes”. ❌
You simply say:
“el lunes”, “los domingos” or “el próximo martes”. ✅
See for yourself! There is no translation for ON in these sentences:
🇪🇸 El martes viajo a Madrid.
🇬🇧 I’m traveling to Madrid on Tuesday.
🇪🇸 Tenemos clases de español los lunes y los jueves.
🇬🇧 We have Spanish classes on Mondays and Thursdays
🇪🇸 El domingo pasado estuve de cumpleaños.
🇬🇧 It was my birthday last Sunday.
🇪🇸 Tu vuelo sale el lunes 15 de octubre.
🇬🇧 Your flight leaves on Monday, October 15th.
Conclusion? When you need to say that something happens on a certain day, simply use the name of that day with the article el.
3. Use days of the week in Spanish to talk about recurrent activities
Every Tuesday and Thursday I have classes with Becky.
On Mondays, I teach English in a local kindergarten.
Every other weekend we visit our in-laws.
See how days of the week help me explain my routines?
In Spanish, of course, it is the same.
The keywords here are:
🇪🇸 todos los lunes
🇬🇧 all Mondays
🇪🇸 cada miércoles
🇬🇧 each / every Wednesday
🇪🇸 cada dos domingos
🇬🇧 every other Sunday
Here are a few examples to show you how to use these expressions:
🇪🇸 Todos los sábados almorzamos en la casa de mi mamá.
🇬🇧 Every Saturday we have lunch at my mom’s.
🇪🇸 La reunión del directorio es cada lunes a las 9 AM.
🇬🇧 The board meeting is every Monday at 9 AM.
🇪🇸 Mi abuela va a la iglesia todos los domingos.
🇬🇧 My grandma goes to church every Sunday.
🇪🇸 Cuando era niña cada dos viernes comíamos pescado de almuerzo.
🇬🇧 When I was a girl, we used to eat fish for lunch every other Friday.
4. Invitations and arrangements
Do you have Spanish speaking friends?
Or business partners?
If you do, probably more than once you have seen yourself needing to make arrangements with them. Meetings, get-togethers, parties, study sessions.
Using the Spanish days of the week in this context is quite natural, isn’t it?
🇪🇸 Juntémonos este viernes a las 6.
🇬🇧 Let’s meet this Friday at 6.
🇪🇸 ¿Qué le parece si nos reunimos el próximo jueves en nuestra oficina?
🇬🇧 ¿How about a meeting next Thursday in our office?
🇪🇸 El miércoles 18 llega a Boston el señor Gonzalez. Quiere conversar sobre su plan de venta para este año.
🇬🇧 Mr. Gonzalez is coming to Boston on Wednesday the 18th. He wants to talk about his sales plan for this year.
🇪🇸 El profesor agendó una prueba para el primer lunes después de las vacaciones de primavera.
🇬🇧 The teacher scheduled a test for the first Monday after the spring break.
🇪🇸 Necesito posponer mi cita con el doctor Gimenez. ¿La podemos correr para el próximo lunes?
🇬🇧 I need to postpone my appointment with doctor Gimenez. Can we move it to next Monday?
🇪🇸 Su vuelo a Madrid se ha adelantado. Ahora está agendado para el lunes 15 en la mañana.
🇬🇧 Your flight to Madrid has been moved forward. It’s now scheduled for Mon 15th in the morning.
🇪🇸 Chicos, voy a celebrar mi cumpleaños este domingo. Están todos ustedes invitados.
🇬🇧 Guys, I’m celebrating my birthday this Sunday. You’re all invited.
(I’ve learned my Spanish in Chile, that’s why I use ustedes rather than vosotros. If you want to know other differences between Latin American Spanish and Spanish from Spain check out my article on this topic).
5. Mon thru Fri – how to talk about a range of days in Spanish
The last situation I would like to present is when we need to mention a certain range of days.
It can be opening hours of a store or a trip duration, for example.
Whenever in English you’d say from…to…, go for the Spanish de…a…, or desde…hasta…
These two expressions are quite interchangeable.
🇪🇸 Voy a tomarme unas mini-vacaciones de jueves a domingo.
🇬🇧 I’m gonna take mini-vacations from Thursday to Sunday.
🇪🇸 La biblioteca estará cerrada desde el lunes hasta el miércoles de la próxima semana.
🇬🇧 The library will be closed from Monday to Wednesday next week.
🇪🇸 Estaré fuera del país desde mañana hasta el viernes 12.
🇬🇧 I’ll be out of the country from tomorrow till Friday the 12th.
🇪🇸 Nuestra tienda está abierta de lunes a viernes desde las 8 hasta las 17 horas.
🇬🇧 Our store is open Monday thru Friday (from Monday to Friday) from 8 AM to 5PM.
I knew it would catch your attention 😉
Yes, Spanish uses a 24-hour clock, at least in a formal context. But telling time in Spanish is a whole different story.