Date and time notation in the Netherlands

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In the Netherlands, dates are written using the little-endian pattern "day–month–year" as is usual elsewhere in Europe and many other countries. Times are written using the 24-hour clock.

  • dd-mm-yyyy (09-09-2000)
  • dd.mmm.yyyy (za. 9. sep. 2000)
  • dddd d mmmm yyyy (zaterdag 9 september 2000)

The names and abbr. of months and days are as follows:

Names of months and days are not capitalised in Dutch.


Dutch TV listings magazines invariably use 24-hour notation

In written language, time is expressed in the 24-hour notation, with or without leading zero, using a full stop or colon as a separator, sometimes followed by the word uur (hour) or its abbreviation u. – for example, 22.51 uur, 9.12 u., or 09:12. In technical and scientific texts the use of the abbreviations h, min and s is common – for example, 17 h 03 min 16 s.[1] The use of the 12-hour clock in numeric writing is not standard practice, not even in informal writing, and writing e.g., "1.30" for 13:30 would be regarded as odd.

In spoken language, most often time is expressed in the 12-hour clock. However, "a.m." and "p.m." are never used. Instead, an apposition is added, for instance 21:00 is said as "9 uur 's avonds" (9 o'clock in the evening). Half hours are relative to the next hour – for example, 5:30 is said as "half 6". Quarter hours are expressed relative to the nearest whole hour – for example, 6:15, "kwart over 6" (quarter past six) and 6:45, "kwart voor zeven" (quarter to seven). Minutes are usually rounded off to the nearest five minutes and are expressed relative to the closest half-hour. For instance 05:35 is "5 over half 6" (literally "5 past half to 6") and 05:20 is "tien voor half 6" (literally "10 to half to 6").

When the 24-hour clock is used in spoken language, usually the written form is pronounced with the hours as a number, the word "uur" (hour) and the minutes as a number. For example, 17:21 might be pronounced as "zeventien uur eenentwintig" (seventeen hours twenty-one). Hours over 12 are not usually combined with phrasings using "half", "quarter", "to", or "past".