In this volume, we discuss the alphabet, definite and indefinite articles, and verbs ser and estar, among other topics.
The days of the week in Spanish are:
Lunes - Monday
Martes - Tuesday
Miércoles - Wednesday
Jueves - Thursday
Viernes - Friday
Sábado - Saturday
Domingo - Sunday
You'll need to memorize the days of the week early on in your Spanish learning journey. We use them for habits in the present tense (on Mondays I go to the gym) and as time anchors in the past (last Tuesday I went to the gym) and future tenses (on Wednesday I will go to the gym).
Additionally, here are three related terms you'll also need to memorize:
El día - the day
La semana - the week
El fin de semana - the weekend
Lunes: [ˈlu.nes]. Sounds like loo·nes.
Martes: [ˈmaɾ.t̪es]. Sounds like mar·tes.
Miércoles: [ˈmjeɾ.ko.les]. Sounds like mier·ko·les.
Jueves: [ˈxwe.β̞es]. Sounds like hweh·behs.
Viernes: [ˈbjeɾ.nes]. Sounds like bier·nes.
Sábado: [ˈsa.β̞a.ð̞o]. Sounds like sah·bah·doh.
Domingo: [d̪oˈmĩŋ.ɡo]. Sounds like doh·meeng·goh.
Here is a song for children in which they pronounce all the days of the week in Spanish:
In Spanish, we don't capitalize the days of the week. In English, we would write:
On Mondays I go to the gym.
In Spanish, we will write:
Los lunes voy al gimnasio.
To make the days of the week from Monday to Friday plural, we'll use the plural article with them. Instead of el lunes, we will say los lunes. For Saturday and Sunday, we need to add an S at the end: el sábado => los sábados, el domingo => los domingos.
The seven-day week system used in most parts of the world today has been used by humans for a long time. While different ancient cultures used different week lengths (ancient Egypt used a ten-day week, for example), Roman emperor Constantine decreed the seven-day week in 321 CE, making it official in the Roman Empire. This would later spread to other parts of Europe and eventually the rest of the world.
Before the Roman Empire made it official, the seven-day week had been used extensively in Babylonian Astrology, in ancient Mesopotamia.
The names for lunes through viernes come from the names of the classical planets, i.e. planets that can be seen by the naked eye, plus the Sun, plus the Moon. The names of the classical planets other than the Sun and the Moon come from the names of different Roman gods.
Lunes: comes from dies Lunae, which means "day of the moon" in Latin.
Martes: comes from Martis díes, which means "day of Mars" in Latin.
Miércoles: comes from Mercurii dies, which means "day of Mercury" in Latin.
Jueves: comes from dies Iovis, which means "day of Jupiter" in Latin.
Viernes: comes from Veneris dies, which means "day of Venus" in Latin.
Sábado: comes from sabbătum, which is the Latin name for Sabbath, the day of rest in Abrahamic religions.
Domingo: comes from dies dominĭcus, which means "day of the Lord" in Latin.
Interestingly, English uses classical planet names for Saturday and Sunday (day of Saturn, day of the Sun), but Spanish doesn't.
We use the present tense for habits and facts. For habits, it's very common to use days of the week, as in on Mondays I work from home.
To say this in Spanish, instead of on Mondays, we'll have to say "the Mondays": Los lunes trabajo desde casa.
Here are some more examples:
Los martes voy al gimnasio. (On Tuesdays I go to the gym.)
Los miércoles corro en el parque. (On Wednesdays I run in the park.)
Los jueves siempre como en un restaurante. (On Thursdays I always eat at a restaurant.)
Los viernes voy al club. (On Fridays I go to the club.)
Los sábados me levanto tarde. (On Saturdays I get up late.)
Los domingos voy a la iglesia. (On Sundays I go to church.)
If we want to be more specific, we can add the following time expressions:
Por la mañana - in the morning
Por la tarde - in the afternoon/evening
Por la noche - at night
Instead of por, we can use en, and the meaning is the same:
En la mañana
En la tarde
En la noche
Here are some examples:
Los martes por la mañana voy al parque. (On Tuesday mornings I go to the park.)
Los sábados por la noche siempre miro una película. (On Saturday nights I always watch a movie.)
We use the past simple in English for things that happened at a specific point in time in the past. In Spanish, we use the pretérito perfecto tense in a similar way.
I went to the park last night.
Fui al parque anoche.
When using days of the week, we'll use them with last in English and pasado in Spanish:
Last Tuesday I went to the park.
El martes pasado fui al parque.
Since we are using the past tense, it's often understood that we are referring to last Tuesday, so last/pasado can be omitted:
On Tuesday I went to the park.
El martes fui al parque.
Like with the present tense, instead of saying on Tuesday, we'll say "the Tuesday" in Spanish. Here are some more examples:
El jueves fui a la playa. (On Thursday I went to the beach.)
El sábado cociné pollo. (On Saturday I cooked chicken.)
We can also be more specific and use time expressions:
El viernes por la noche no trabajé. (On Friday night I didn't work.)
El domingo por la mañana leí el periódico. (On Sunday morning I read the newspaper.)
We use the future tense for things that will happen at a specific point in time in the future.
I will go to the park tomorrow.
Voy a ir al parque mañana.
When using days of the week, we'll use them with next in English and próximo in Spanish:
Next Tuesday I will go to the park.
El martes próximo voy a ir al parque.
Since we are using the future tense, it's often understood that we are referring to next Tuesday, so next/próximo can be omitted:
On Tuesday I will go to the park.
El martes voy a ir al parque.
Like with the past tense, instead of saying on Tuesday, we'll say "the Tuesday" in Spanish. Here are some more examples:
El jueves voy a ir a la playa. (On Thursday I will go to the beach.)
El sábado voy a cocinar pollo. (On Saturday I will cook chicken.)
We can also be more specific and use time expressions:
El viernes por la noche no voy a trabajar. (On Friday night I will not work.)
El domingo por la mañana voy a leer el periódico. (On Sunday morning I will read the newspaper.)
When people talk about the weekend in Spanish in an informal setting, it's very common to call it el finde. The term is now featured in the Diccionario de la lengua española.
What are you going to do this weekend?
¿Qué vas a hacer este finde?
A lot of people have a favorite day of the week (and it usually isn't Monday!). To ask someone what their favorite day of the week is, you'd do the following:
¿Cuál es tu día de la semana favorito?
And that person would say:
Mi día de la semana favorito es el viernes.
These days, we usually carry a phone that tells us, but we still ask people from time to time when we don't want to reach for it. We do it like this:
What day is it today?
Today is Friday.
Awesome! I thought it was Thursday, for some reason.
¿Qué día es hoy?
Hoy es viernes.
¡Fantástico! Pensaba que era jueves, por alguna razón.
Here are some ideas:
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