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The Beginner’s Guide to Spanish Months of the Year

Knowing how to talk about the months is important in any language. It will allow you to make plans as well as talk about memories from the past.

Plus, it allows you to tell people when your birthday is!

Luckily, the Spanish months are great examples of cognates, since almost all of them sound like their English counterparts. This makes the months easier to learn and remember.

In this post, we’ll teach you the 12 Spanish months plus some useful words and phrases you can use to talk about time with example sentences!

Contents

What Are the 12 Spanish Months and How Are They Used?

Here’s a list of the words for the months in Spanish. If you need to listen to the pronunciation for one of the months, simply click on it!

EnglishSpanishOrigins
January enero Named after Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors and transitions
February febrero Derived from the Latin word or februa, which possibly relates to purification rituals held in this month
March marzo Named after the Roman god Martius, the god of war
April abril Thought to come from the Latin verb aperire (abrir in Spanish), meaning "to open" and referring to the opening of flowers and springtime
May mayo Named after the Roman earth goddess Maia
June junio Named after the Roman goddess Junio, the goddess of love and marriage
July julio Named in honor of Julius Caesar and his reform of the Roman calendar
August agosto Named in honor of Augustus Caesar
September septiembre Comes from the Latin word septem, meaning "seven," as it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar
October octubre Comes from the Latin word octo, meaning "eight"
November noviembre Comes from the Latin word novem, meaning "nine"
December diciembre Comes from the Latin word decem, meaning "ten"

Again, the fact that all of the months are cognates with their English counterparts (with the possible exclusion of enero) makes it simple to memorize the names of the months and identify them when you see them!

The biggest difference in usage between English and Spanish is that, in Spanish, the names of the months are never capitalized—unless, of course, they’re at the beginning of a title or sentence.

All of the Spanish months have masculine gender, so remember that if you want to modify any month with an adjective, you must use the masculine form of the adjective.

Fue un agosto muy caluroso.
It was a very hot August.

Having trouble memorizing the names of the Spanish months? A song may help. Yes, singing the months of the year may feel juvenile—but hey, it’s probably how you learned the English months when you were a child!

22 Essential Spanish Words and Time Expressions for Talking About Months

In English, we commonly pair months with prepositions of time like in, during, since, until and of.

In Spanish, it’s the same deal, but we do have to learn the prepositions and make sure we’re using them correctly. So, we’ll start with some common prepositions you’ll use with the months (and other time-related vocabulary), along with explanations and example sentences. Then we’ll move onto other useful vocabulary and phrases to use with months.

1. En

Meaning: In

This one’s pretty straightforward, and we use it almost exactly as we would in English. Use en to talk about something happening during a certain month.

Ellos siempre van a la playa en junio.
They always go to the beach in June.

2. De

Meaning: Of

Again, the usage of de alongside a month word is straightforward and similar to the English usage of the preposition “of.” Use de when talking about a specific day within a month, and put the word de between the day and the month.

Mi cumpleaños es el tres de abril.
My birthday is the third of April.

3. Durante

Meaning: During, for

The usage of this preposition is a bit tricky because it isn’t exactly the same as its English meaning. In Spanish, use durante to describe a duration of time.

Estuve en España durante dos meses.
I was in Spain for two months.

4. Hace

Meaning: Ago

Hace is the present-tense third person of the verb hacer (to do). However, when you see the word hace with an expression of time, it means “ago.” Unlike in English, you must put the verb hace before the time expression.

Me mudé a Brasil hace cinco meses.
I moved to Brazil five months ago.

5. Desde

Meaning: Since

It can be easy to mix up hace and desde because they both refer to times in the past. However, it’s easy to remember the difference if you bear in mind the difference between the two English words “ago” and “since.”

  • Use hace (ago) followed by a duration of time.
  • Use desde (since) followed by a specific point in time, such as a day, month or year.

Look back at the example phrase for hace: Me mudé a Brasil hace cinco meses.  (I moved to Brazil six months ago.)

You can re-word this sentence using the word desde without changing the meaning, like this:

He vivido en Brasil desde octubre.
I’ve lived in Brasil since October.

You can also use desde to talk about future events. In this case, desde functions like the English phrases “starting in” or “from…onward.”

Trabajaré en el supermercado desde septiembre.
I’ll work at the supermarket starting in September.

A note: You may also encounter the words desde and hace next to each other. In this case, desde hace  literally means “since…ago,” but it translates more appropriately to “for.”

Like with hace, you use this phrase followed by a duration of time, rather than a specific point in time. Use desde hace with the present tense to express a duration of time that’s still ongoing.

Trabajo en el banco desde hace nueve meses.
I’ve been working at the bank for nine months.

6. Hasta

Meaning: Until

Hasta is the natural counterpart of desde. Use it before a month or other time expression to express when an action or event will end. The action or event can be in the past, present or future.

Estaré en Cuba hasta el 29 de diciembre.
I will be in Cuba until the 29th of December.

The common phrase desde…hasta  means “from…until,” and is extremely useful in Spanish speech.

Estaré de vacaciones desde julio hasta septiembre.
I’ll be on vacation from July until September.

7. Dentro de

Meaning: Within, less than, in the next

People commonly translate the Spanish word dentro as “inside,” but when used with a time expression, dentro de means “within” or “in less than.”

Ella se va dentro de dos meses.
She’s leaving in less than two months.

Notice the subtle difference between dentro de and en, using the following two example sentences.

Vendrá mi madre en tres meses.
My mother will come in three months.

This phrase means that the speaker’s mother will visit in exactly three months; if the speaker says this phrase in April, she’ll come in July.

Vendrá mi madre dentro de tres meses.
My mother will come in the next three months.

This sentence means that the speaker’s mother will come sometime within the next three months, but the exact time is unclear. If the speaker says this phrase in April, she might show up in April, June or July.

8. Por

Meaning: Around, approximately

Por has a ton of meanings in Spanish. In this case, the preposition is used to refer to an inexact time. Use it alongside a month to give a listener a sense of more or less when something happened.

Él estuvo aquí por octubre, pero no lo he visto durante muchos meses.
He was here around October, but I haven’t seen him for many months.

The difference between por and para can sometimes be challenging at first for Spanish learners, however with practice and exposure to the language in use you’ll be able to pick up the context in which they are used, along with the other phrases listed in this post.

To hear these phrases used in context by native speakers, there are many resources to choose from like Spanish podcasts, TV shows or Spanish news. Another useful resource you could try is a language learning program like FluentU.

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Now that we’ve covered the main prepositions, we’ll move right along into other useful types of words and expressions for talking about time (and, yes, some of them do include prepositions!).

9. A principios de 

Meaning: At the beginning

Vamos a Barcelona a principios de mayo.
We’re going to Barcelona at the beginning of May.

10. A fin de / A finales de

Meaning: At the end

Empiezan las vacaciones a finales de junio.
Vacation starts at the end of June.

11. Durar

Meaning: To last

El festival dura dos meses.
The festival lasts for two months.

12. Cada

Meaning: Every

Mis abuelos me visitan cada diciembre.
My grandparents visit me every December.

13. Pasado

Meaning: Last

Mi hermana nació el marzo pasado.
My sister was born last March.

14. Próximo / Que viene

Meaning: The next, the coming

Vamos a Lima el próximo mes.
Vamos a Lima el mes que viene.
We’re going to Lima next month.

Just to round things out, here’s some additional time- and month-related vocabulary to incorporate into your Spanish speaking.

15. Verano

Meaning: Summer

16. Otoño

Meaning: Fall/Autumn

17. Invierno

Meaning: Winter

18. Primavera

Meaning: Spring

19. Estación

Meaning: Season

20. Año

Meaning: Year

21. Mensual

Meaning: Monthly (adjective)

Es un evento mensual.
It’s a monthly event.

22. Mensualmente

Meaning: Monthly (adverb)

Ella visita a su padre mensualmente.
She visits her father monthly.

 

So, there you have it. That’s everything you ever needed to know about the Spanish months of the year.

Now, you have the know-how to tell people mi cumple es en abril (my birthday is in April) or talk about your vacation plans for el julio que viene (next July).

Keep practicing the months vocabulary, and you’ll have these twelve useful words—and much, much more—memorized in no time at all.

And One More Thing…

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Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.

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