Date and time notation in Sweden

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In Sweden, the ISO 8601 standard is followed in most written Swedish, but older forms remain. Dates are generally and officially written on the form YYYY-MM-DD, for instance 2001-08-31 for 31 August 2001, or using the full format (31 augusti 2001). Dates can also be shortened, allowing for two-digit years, so the dates are usually written on the form YY-MM-DD, which means that 31 August 2001 also can be written as 01-08-31. One can also omit the hyphens, leaving the notation to 010831. Older forms for 31 August 2001 are 31/8 2001, or with the two-digit notation 31/8 -01. The common trait for all Swedish date notations is that the month (August or 8) always is between the year (01) and the day (31st). Months are not capitalised when written using letters (i.e. augusti, not Augusti).

The “month day, year” notation: (“08-31-2001”) is not used in Sweden, but may be used in Lule Sami, Northern Sami and Southern Sami languages.

Numbering of weeks are frequently used in companies and schools, and are simply expressed as in "(vecka) 32" ((week) 32) in both writing (abbreviated v.) and speech. On labels and in computers' notation, the year may also be included, as in "2006W32". As in the ISO standard, the week begins with a Monday and week 1 is the week containing the year's first Thursday.


Times are written with the 24-hour clock, with full stops as separators (although colons are sometimes used instead of full stops)[citation needed], however seconds are usually left out if the additional precision is not required. Example: 23.59, or sometimes 23.59.00. Leading zeros are mostly used in time notation (i.e. 04.00 is more common than 4.00). In spoken Swedish however, the 12-hour clock is much more common. Usually time is expressed in 5-minute intervals (rounded so that it can be evenly divided by 5) like this: <the hour>, <5, 10 or 20 [minutes]> <past, to> <the hour/the following hour>, a quarter <past, to> <the hour/following hour>, half <the following hour> or five <past, to> half <the following hour>. More accurately like this: <1-29 [minutes]> past <the hour>, half <the following hour> or <29-1 [minutes]> to <the following hour>. In these styles, the word for "minutes" is usually but not always left out. Finally the written notation can be pronounced as is: <the hour> and <the minute>, although this is not very common in everyday conversation. The 24-hour time is always applied on the last form, may be applied to the second form and is never used with rounded time as in the first form. Seconds are very seldom expressed at all in speech. Example: 14.27 may be pronounced as "tre minuter i halv tre" (three minutes to half three), "tjugosju (minuter) över två/fjorton" (twenty seven (minutes) past two/fourteen), or, most commonly: "fjorton och tjugosju" (fourteen and twenty seven). 16.00 may be pronounced as "fyra" (four) or "sexton" (sixteen).