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How to read "from first of April to thirtieth of April" in German?

Is it "von dem ersten April bis der dreißigsten April"?

3 Answers 3

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Your suggestion is quite close, there’s only minor errors that make it weird.

You probably would contract „von dem“ to „vom“ as well as „zu dem“ to „zum“, and also spell „dreißig“ with an sharp S, and you wouldn’t say „bis der“. Not only because it isn’t correct, but also because it’s far too cumbersome. You’d simply say:

vom ersten bis zum dreißigsten April

You certainly won’t hear anyone uttering its non-contracted form:

von dem ersten bis zu dem dreißigsten April

Sometimes it is recommended to set numbers greater than twelve as figures instead of numerals („zehn, elf, zwölf, 13, 14“). You may do so here, or just set all dates in figures, because they’re dates:

vom 1. bis zum 30. April

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  • Please note that the customary typographic rule that numbers up to and including twelve shall be spelled out is actually not mentioned in the German standard DIN 5008.
    – user9551
    Jul 26, 2016 at 10:36
  • @Loong: Thanks, that mustn’t have been left that way. Like many other details, it’s nowadays merely a suggestion and remains for the author to be decided. At least he or she can’t do too much wrong.
    – dakab
    Jul 26, 2016 at 10:58
  • Note that zum in that kind of phrase is sometimes omitted: vom 1. bis 30. April, although that could be considered bad style. If something happens every single day in April, however, it is correct to say (jeweils) am 1. bis 30. April (or täglich vom 1. bis zum 30. April).
    – Crissov
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:33
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Correct:

vom ersten April

Why using the contraction vom instead of von dem?

Because von dem would mean from that particular. If a contracted form exists (like vom, im, zur) you must use it unless you want to emphasize the noun. This is a separate grammar topic.

[Cannot find an article about this to link, can someone please help?]

bis zum dreißigsten April (note the ß, not z is in your example - it's a common mistake)

Same here, you use the preposition bis zu, which goes with Dative, so it gets bis zum.

Someone may ask, why are we using the male form? Especially English native speakers may have trouble understanding, why we say vom and not von or von der. The answer is simple, we implicitly mean der Tag.

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From X to Y, in respect to date and time, is translated into German as von X bis (zu) Y. Examples: "Von April bis Juni", "Von morgens bis abends"

If, as in your case, there's an article, we use contractions: vom and zum instead of von dem and zu dem, respectively. So, your phrase is

Vom 1. April bis zum 30. April

Further examples:

Vom Januar bis zum April
Vom Morgen bis zum Abend

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  • 1
    Actually i am quite certain that for the months, it's ' von Januar bis April ' . so without the definite article.
    – Burki
    Jul 26, 2016 at 12:45
  • @Burki: I second that. In colloquial speech however, it’s occasionally used in that manner.
    – dakab
    Jul 26, 2016 at 14:28

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