I was reading a conversation and came to these sentences :

爸爸 :双十一是什么?

妈妈 :就是11月11号的网上购物节,在网上买东西很便宜。

I was wondering why it's 号 instead of 日. I then checked it on the dictionary and found out that 号 can mean "the day of the month".

I have looked for an answer but not sure whether or not what I found is correct. It's said that 日 is more formal than 号 and that 号 is used when you speak casually. Is that true? And is there any more difference between both words?

Thank you.

  • 1
    Yes, what you said is correct for your context.
    – dan
    Nov 13, 2018 at 14:28
  • X 号 originally means Number X, but still used for day of month in spoken language, X 日 is used in written language.
    – xenophōn
    Jun 18, 2019 at 11:00

5 Answers 5


You are correct, 日 is more formal than 号。

When chatting with someone, you would normally use 号 instead of 日,in this case, saying 日 feels a little bit weird.

But when you are writing a document, you would want to use 日 unless you are writing a transcript of people chatting with each other.


日:day;号:the rank number

11号:the 11th day of the month. But Chinese prefer a concise expression, just 11th,that is 11号


在表达日期时候,日和号是同样的意思。但其他情况不一定。日通常表示day, 号通常表示number


If you're specifically talking about mentioning dates, then you have understood this correctly. I have never seen 号 on my work documents or when I was signing contracts in China. I see 年——月——日 every time instead. In colloquial speech, 号 is used.



11月11日, 11月11号





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