In my exercises I’m reading through it says:

Wir haben den dritten Oktober — It is the third of October

Is this the common way to express the date in German?

would no one say:

Es ist der dritte Oktober

as a more direct translation?

  • Also take a look at this
    – Ed_
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 20:47
  • 1
    der dritter is incorrect anyways
    – Alex
    Commented May 27, 2016 at 13:23
  • As Alex said, it should be der dritte … Since that is a minor error, I simply corrected it. Refer to adjective declension, strong/weak. (There is a question around here showing the entire thing.)
    – Jan
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


For me as a native German speaker, I would say

"Heute ist der dritte."

as my first option. (See that I left the month part out since it is obvious most of the time that we know which month we have). This would probably the most common answer in spoken German language since pretty much every spoken language tries to abbreviate as much as possible.

If you wanna express that today is the "third of October" you would probably go with

"Wir haben den dritten Oktober"

when you are speaking, while written language prefers to use

"Es ist der dritte Oktober"

Note that this is only a fine, slight difference, so you should be fine either way, but if you wanna show that you have a deeper understanding of the language you could respect and use it the way I showed you.

  • Keep in mind, that when writing texts thats not instant communication(an article or something), you should to include the month. Only drop it when you can be sure the person reading/hearing this will know which month yoi mean. Also, if its formal language always include it(as formal language ist mostly used in texts, that are supposed to be read at any time in the future, not just the next day.
    – Mystery
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 0:30
  • 2
    Sollte bei "Heute ist der Dritte" nicht das D groß sein? Commented May 28, 2016 at 9:59


Wir haben (heute) den dritten Oktober.


Es ist der dritte Oktober. / Heute ist der dritte Oktober.

are common. There is no semantic difference between the two phrases.


In German courses in school students are often required to write the date in the following form (most likely because it is the most verbose form) :

Heute haben wir Montag, den dritten Oktober zweitausendsechs

  • 2
    How does this answer the question?
    – Carsten S
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 14:07
  • 2
    Wer schreibt denn Jahreszahlen aus?
    – Robert
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 14:09
  • 2
    The question is "Wir haben den dritten Oktober" common ? My answer is : they always do that it in school. So I think it answers the question. But I have to admit I had doubts whether I should have written it as a comment instead or not.
    – Vulpo
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 14:15

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