# Learn English – What are the rules for pronunciation of years in English

datespronunciation

We pronounce 1923 as nineteen twenty-three; but 1900 as nineteen hundred. Why isn't year 2000 pronounced as twenty hundred instead of two thousand?

What are the rules for pronunciation of years in English? Does it change according to the first two digits of year? Could you give examples for special cases, if any?

For one thing, "two thousand" is shorter to say than "twenty hundred".

• 600: six hundred
• 601: six oh one (shorter than six hundred one)
• 1899: eighteen ninety-nine (shorter than one thousand eight hundred ninety-nine)
• 1900: nineteen hundred (shorter than one thousand nine hundred)
• 1901: nineteen oh one (shorter than nineteen hundred one, shorter than one thousand nine hundred one)
• 1999: nineteen ninety nine (shorter than one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine)
• 2000: two thousand (or 2 "K"?) (shorter than twenty hundred)
• 2009: two thousand nine (shorter than twenty hundred nine)
• 2010: twenty ten (shorter than two thousand ten)

Basically when the number has three zeros it is shorter to say "thousand" than "hundred". Once there are fewer than three zeros it is shorter to say "Y thousand X" for Y00X and "Y hundred X" for YYXX.

This usage isn't limited to years either. Any numbers in the same range will have the same kinds of contractions. There is a Simpsons episode where this is played for laughs, when they need eighty-five-hundred dollars to fix their roof, and they only have \$500, and Homer whines that they still need eighty-hundred.