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  1. tamiiland Junior Member

    Argentina
    Argentinian Spanish
    Hello! I have been asked to write a short story for my English class and I'd like to start it with the character reminiscing about something that happened long ago. The problem is that I don't know how to say in English a certain date without being specific about when (in which year) it happened. The Spanish phrase would be: 'Un dos de enero, (hace) años atrás...'

    I know that "(many) years ago" would do just fine for the last part, but it's the day and month that I'm having trouble with, especially the 'un' at the beginning. Would it be "one 2nd of January" or is it written differently? How would you guys write it?
     
  2. cvermar

    cvermar Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    Mexico/US/Canada
    A certain January 2nd, some years ago...
     
  3. picopegajoso

    picopegajoso Senior Member

    Detroit area, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Hello, tamiiland:

    That is an interesting question!

    Do you have a reason for mentioning a specific date? It's fairly common for an author to write something like "Many years ago, one day in early January..."
     
  4. cvermar

    cvermar Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    Mexico/US/Canada
    Funnily enough, my father stopped smoking a certain 2nd of January, some years ago. I remember the date because it's his birthday, and right after New Year's, but I can't remember if it was 5 or 6 years ago!
     
  5. SolAguila

    SolAguila Senior Member

    India
    Bengali-India
    around some 2nd of January, something like that...
     
  6. tamiiland Junior Member

    Argentina
    Argentinian Spanish
    Hello, picopegajoso! Thanks for your input. And yes, I do have a reason. In the short story, my character recalls the day he was diagnosed with a chronic disease; it's a very important date to him and so he remembers it perfectly. He's vague about the year on purpose but he wants the reader to know the specific day because it's relevant for the story (it's the day after his father's birthday).


    Yeah, that sounds about right! Thanks, cve​rman. Also, I'm glad to know that your father quit smoking. Good for him!


    Mm, that is grammatically correct - but does it sound natural? I think that, to a native's ears, it would be a bit weird or intrincated. But maybe it's just me. What do you think?
     
  7. cvermar

    cvermar Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    Mexico/US/Canada
    You are welcome, tamiilad! I do think that the version I put, using the true facts of my father's quitting smoking as an example, sounds more natural. And, yes I am very proud of him for quitting, it wasn't easy!
     

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