Expressing the 7 Days of the Week in Mandarin

Just like expressing months of the year which use number+月(yuè), telling the 7 days of the week also uses a very simple way. It uses the word星期(Xīngqí)+ number.

Let’s see the following table!

NoMandarinEnglish
1星期一(Xīngqíyī)Monday
2星期二(Xīngqí'èr)Tuesday
3星期三(Xīngqísān)Wednesday
4星期四(Xīngqísì)Thursday
5星期五(Xīngqíwǔ)Friday
6星期六(Xīngqíliù)Saturday
7星期天/星期日(Xīngqítiān/Xīngqírì)Sunday

Sunday is the exception. We don’t say 星期七(Xīngqíqī) but 星期日(Xīngqítiān) or 星期天(Xīngqírì). 星期日(Xīngqítiān) is more common in spoken Mandarin.

Asking the Day of the Week

X:今天是星期几?

Jīntiān shì xīngqí jǐ?

Y: 今天是星期一。

Jīntiān shì xīngqí yī.

几(jǐ) is a question word which means ‘which’. The sentence above literally means “Today is which day of the week?”.  (What day is it?) To answer the question, you just need to replace 几(jǐ) with the name of the day.

The verb 是(shì) is optional, you can either use it or leave it. So you just can say  今天星期几? (Jīntiān xīngqí jǐ?). And the answer is 今天星期一。(Jīntiān xīngqí yī).

Let’s see some more examples:

X: 你星期几学习日语?

X: Nǐ xīngqí jǐ xuéxí Rìyǔ?

Y: 我星期二和星期五学习日语。

Y: Wǒ xīngqí’èr hé xīngqíwǔ xuéxí Rìyǔ.

和(hé) means ‘and’, it is used to connect words or phrases.

If you want to ask what someone does on certain day, you can use the following sentence:

X:你星期天做什么?

Nǐ xīngqítiān zuò shénme?

Y: 我在家做饭, 你呢?

Wǒ zài jiā zuò fàn, nǐ ne?

X: 我星期天去电影院看电影。

X: Wǒ xīngqítiān qù diànyǐngyuàn kàn diànyǐng.

你呢?(nǐ ne?) is used to ask the same question as the previous one after you answer it instead of repeating the whole question. It means “and you?/how about you?”.

Let’s have one more example:

X: 你今天忙吗?

X: Nǐ jīntiān máng ma?

Y: 我今天很忙, 你呢?

Y: Wǒ jīntiān hěn máng, nǐ ne?

X:我也很忙(我也是)。

: Wǒ yě hěn máng (wǒ yě shì).

Read and practice the following dialogue!

X: 你星期几学习日语?

X: Nǐ xīngqí jǐ xuéxí Rìyǔ?

Y: 我星期二, 星期三, 和星期五 学习日语, 你呢?

Y: Wǒ xīngqí’èr, xīngqísān, hé xīngqíwǔ xuéxí Rìyǔ, nǐ ne?

X: 我星期一, 星期二, 和星期三学习日语。

X: Wǒ xīngqí yī, xīngqí’èr, hé xīngqísān xuéxí Rìyǔ.

Y: 你星期天做什么?

Y: Nǐ xīngqítiān zuò shénme?

X: 我星期天在家做饭, 你呢?

X: Wǒ xīngqítiān zài jiā zuò fàn, nǐ ne?

Y: 我星期天去游泳池游泳。

Y: Wǒ xīngqítiān qù yóuyǒngchí yóuyǒng.

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