I learnt to ask weekday as

Jin tian xing qi ji?

with an optional "shi" after jin tian.

I want to know if the shi in "Jin tian shi ji hao?" is also optional. Also, can I say, "Jin tian ji ri?" using ri for date?


These are correct expressions:

  1. 今天是星期几?

  2. 今天星期几?

  3. 今天是几号?

  4. 今天几号?

是 is omissible. Interesting enough that we don't usually say 今天几日. If you say 今天几日,I would probably have to digest it a little bit internally to figure out what you mean.


Jin tian (shi) xing qi ji = 今天(是)星期幾 = Today (is) what day of the week

shi (是) is not optional, it is the verb in the sentence, the optional part is to omit the verb shi (是)

Same thing in "Jin tian (shi) ji hao" which means "今天(是)几号" shi (是) is not optional, but omitting it is.

We don't say "Jin tian ji ri (今天幾日/天)?" when asking what day of the week, we always say 星期幾

  • 1
    Thank you, but we do say ri when telling the date.. like 2015 nian 7 yue 3 ri... chinese native video on youtube m.youtube.com/watch?t=714s&v=qL_BQjz0fzY 42:21.. so why not in the question? – Isabel Jun 11 '18 at 3:42
  • 1
    @Isabel I said "when asking what day of the week" not what day in the calendar – Tang Ho Jun 11 '18 at 3:46

I think shi is optional in short informal oral question.

When ri is for date, it‘s usually used in ancient Chinese.

  • 日 used for date is also common in Mandarin, e.g. 六月十二日. When writing down a date before signing, I could ask a clerk 今天六月几日?And the clerk could reply with 十二日。 – Frenzy Li Jun 12 '18 at 8:10

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