I've heard people say "2 thousand and 15", "twenty fifteen", "two-O-one-five",are they all acceptable?

How many ways are there to express such years like "23 BC","49 AD","1500","2009",etc.?

  • 1
    Did you mean "say" or "read" by "express"? Your examples in the question and comments below seem to suggest so, but "express" isn't only about spoken language. Jan 13, 2016 at 13:16

2 Answers 2


When it comes to a two-digit number, I don't think of any other possibility.

23 BC - Twenty three BC

When you talk about a four digit year, there are two possibilities I can think of.

2015 - Two thousand fifteen or twenty fifteen

'Two O one five' is technically correct, but I don't remember that it is exclusively used to call some year. It serves more as a number than a year to me.

For 1500, again, only one way:

1500 - fifteen hundred

Just a note: We write BC after the year and AD before the year.

23 BC


AD 2050

  • 1500 could be "fifteen naught." I've heard that for 1900, and the guy was also upset that no one says "nineteen nine" for 1909. Dude's 90 years old or so. Jan 6, 2016 at 8:00
  • Maybe "nineteen nil", too? I feel like I've heard that, but maybe not. Jan 6, 2016 at 8:01
  • What about 2009? "2 thousand and nine","twenty-O-nine" or "twenty and nine"? Should there be an "and"?
    – dennylv
    Jan 6, 2016 at 8:07
  • 1
    Yes, 2009 - twenty O nine. But I'd prefer calling it Two thousand nine which at least the whole of India called it then!. And I'd not prefer putting 'and' because it's the year collectively, you don't separate those nine years from two thousand!
    – Maulik V
    Jan 6, 2016 at 8:28

The most traditional style, commonly used on certificates until the late 1900's (that's "nineteen hundreds"), is such for the year 1909:

In the year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Nine...

This can also be found in some older academic papers, and is a direct translation of Anno Domini 1909, or AD 1909. More modernly, the direct religious reference has made it fall out of style in many circles.

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