This is a lesson to help students pronounce the calendar years in English.

Let us take a look at some of them.

Firstly, let’s mention about BC and AD

The official calendar of the world was determined by the Romans.

Therefore, we have twenty hours in one day, seven days in one week, twelve months in one year and fifty-two weeks in one year.

There are ten years in a decade,  one hundred years in a century and a thousand years in a millenium.

The Roman word for one hundred is ‘Cent’

The calendar years are determined from the supposed birth year of the Christian messiah Jesus.

All years from the year zero to the present day are years subsequent to the birth of Jesus and are followed by the latin words ‘Anno Domini’ (or AD for short).

If you are slightly confused, information sources tell us that Jesus was 31 years old when he died.  That would have been the year 31 AD.

All years before the birth of Jesus are BC (meaning before Christ).

This is a sensitive issue to anyone who is not of the Christian faith.

So the modern reference becomes BCE and that is interpreted as ‘Before Common Era’.

So what about the calendar years then?

10,000 BCE                Ten thousand (Before Common Era)

303      BCE                Three Hundred and Three (Before Common Era)

303      AD                  Three O Three AD

524      AD                  Five Twenty Four AD

700      AD                  Seven Hunded AD

999      AD                  Nine Ninety Nine AD

1000    AD                  Ten Hundred AD

1066    AD                  Ten Sixty Six AD

1200    AD                  Twelve Hundred AD

1313    AD                  Thirteen Thirteen AD

1504    AD                  Fifteen O Four AD

1710    AD                  Seventeen Ten AD

1945    AD                  Nineteen Forty Five AD

2000    AD                  Two Thousand AD (not Twenty Hundred) AD

2016    AD                  Two thousand and Sixteen (or Twenty Sixteen) AD

3000    AD                  Three Thousand AD

3003    AD                  Thirty O Three AD

3011    AD                  Three Thousand and Eleven (or Thirty Eleven0 AD


NOTICE how the calendar years are usually eferred to in hundreds rather than thousands.

If we take 1710 AD as just an example, seventeen ten is usually said instead of seventeen hundred and ten (which is still okay) but nobody will say One thousand Seven Hundred and Ten.

Oddly, since we are in the second millenium of calendar years from the year 2000 (Two Thousand), we are comfortable in English in saying Two thousand and Sixteen for the current year (2016).

For the nine years of a new century (from year one until year nine), the English language uses O instead of saying zero, nought or nil.

That is something a student must watch out for.

Practice speaking the calendar years often and enjoy the lesson!


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