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  1. #1
    wynnmyintuu's Avatar
    wynnmyintuu is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy How to pronounce dates

    I think that the year "1900" is pronounced as "nineteen hundred", and "1999" as "nineteen hundred and ninety-nine". What about "2000" and "2010"? Shall we say "two thousand" or "twenty hundred"?

  2. #2
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: How to pronounce dates

    Quote Originally Posted by wynnmyintuu View Post
    I think that the year "1900" is pronounced as "nineteen hundred", and "1999" as "nineteen hundred and ninety-nine". What about "2000" and "2010"? Shall we say "two thousand" or "twenty hundred"?
    There is not a fixed way to pronounce them. If it is difficult to set up rules for written English, and manage people to follow them, imagine the case of spoken English. It really depends on the region and even on the mood of the speaker.

    Informally, years such as 1939, 1980 and 1999 are usually pronounced as "nineteen thirty-nine", "nineteen-eighty" and "nineteen ninety-nine." From 2000, 2001, 2002 up to 2009, years have been pronounced as "two thousand", "two thousand (and) one", "two thousand two", "two thousand nine." From 2010 on, the pronounciation goes back to "twenty ten", "twenty eleven", "twenty twelve" and so on.

    I have already heard "oh nine" and "oh eight" to refer to the present year of 2009 and to last year.

    See also: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ge...ying-date.html

    PS Not a native speaker
    Last edited by Abstract Idea; 31-Dec-2009 at 10:50.

  3. #3
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Re: How to pronounce dates

    John Wells's phonetic blog: 2010

    Above blog post discusses abt 2010

  4. #4
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Re: How to pronounce dates

    Quote Originally Posted by wynnmyintuu View Post
    I think that the year "1900" is pronounced as "nineteen hundred", and "1999" as "nineteen hundred and ninety-nine". What about "2000" and "2010"? Shall we say "two thousand" or "twenty hundred"?
    About the last point you said, in bold; this reflects how many English speakers say numbers. Between 1,000 and 2,000, many people including myself, often speak in 'hundreds', that is - 1,500 is said 'fifteen-hundred'. It is often only used when the number is rounded up to the hundred, so 1,632 is unlikely to be said as 'sixteen-hundred and thirty-two'. I say both interchangeably - 1,500 as fifteen-hundred, or one-thousand five-hundred, the first is just quicker.

    This goes for dates too. The year 1000 would rarely be referred to as 'ten hundred'. However, all centuries between 1000 and 2000 would be referred to in this way - 1100 eleven-hundred, 1200 twelve-hundred etc.

    As for the switch between saying 1909 as 'nineteen oh nine', but saying 2009 as 'two-thousand and nine', there isn't any real reason. The same goes for now. The general consensus is that 2010 is 'twenty ten'. This doesn't mean that if you say 'two-thousand and ten' it is wrong. Many people will say it this way.

    The main thing is that rounded up numbers between the two thousands - 1,100; 1,200; 1,300 ... 1,900 - are said as 'eleven-hundred'; 'twelve-hundred' etc. Your example, 'and "1999" as "nineteen hundred and ninety-nine"' is incorrect - 1999 is said as 'nineteen nintey-nine', the same as '2010' is 'twenty-ten'.

  5. #5
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: How to pronounce dates

    It is worth noticing that American themselves seem to be still discussing whether they should read the year 2010 as "two thousand (and) ten" or "twenty ten."
    In the last day of last year this topic was discussed in the American television program Today, NBC. Yesterday, Brian Willians talked about it in "Nightly News."

    For those who like this kind of discussion just perform a google search for ' "two thousand" ten ' or similar.

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