Appetizer 3-2 / PRONUNCIATION OF YEARS / Day 1 of 1


  • To introduce how to pronounce years correctly
  • To point out the areas of difficulty when saying particular years and demonstrate how to interpret those confusing areas
  • To increase the students’ confidence in their use of saying the years aloud in their normal speaking



Intro to pronunciation

Years with & without zeros





Beginner to intermediate


15+ minutes


  • Board, screen or flip chart
  • Handouts for class:
    HO3 clarifying worksheet
    HO4 speaking practice


Class Plan


Sometimes the students take more interest in an activity if you demonstrate the need for them to learn more about that area.  By doing some preliminary testing, you can also determine in general terms how much time and focus may be appropriate to dedicate to the current group you are teaching.

A STEP 1     CHECK /  SHOW THE NEED                 INTRODUCTION                         YEARS
a) Write on the board the following years and ask the class as a whole or randomly ask different students to pronounce one year each:      1656     1660     2000     1606     1600
b) -o- (optional):  You can correct each pronunciation as it occurs or is necessary, or you can simply make your point that there are some unclear areas and you will now show them how to approach pronouncing different years well.
c) Point out that for the most part, the confusion arises when a zero is in the year.
A STEP 2     TYPICAL APPROACH                            INTRODUCTION                         YEARS
a) Write on the board the following years and ask class how to pronounce them:  1755   1843   1867   1882   1961
b) Elicit / explain that the spoken form of most years is to say it in groups of 2 pairs:
seventeen fifty-five      eighteen forty-three     eighteen sixty-seven     eighteen eighty-two     nineteen sixty-one
c) Have the students repeat the years again with this in mind (one year = two pairs of numbers).

YEARS  INTRODUCTION   (Steps 1 & 2)     APPAUD 16

Students can listen to and repeat the years

1656    1660    2000    1606    1600

1755    1843    1867    1882    1961


Worksheet for students

A STEP 3     ROW 1 on HO 3                  LESS THAN 1000                                                YEARS
a) Give the students HO 3 (handout 3 as shown above)
b) Have one student say the first two years in Row 1 (50 and 100).
c) Elicit or explain that years less than 1000 are pronounced the same as a number.
d) Have the student continue saying the rest of the years in that row.

HO 3          INTRO TO YEARS     (Teacher’s copy)

Answer key

A STEP 4     ROW 2 on HO 3                  HUNDREDS                                                        YEARS
a) Ask a different student to pronounce the first two years in Row 2 (1100 and 1200).
b) Elicit or explain that the first pair is pronounced together in the usual way, but the double zero is always pronounced as hundred.     (eleven hundred, twelve hundred)
c) Have the student continue saying the rest of the years in that row.
d) Have the class as a whole say that same second row.
A STEP 5     ROW 3 on HO 3                  ZERO IN TENS COLUMN                                    YEARS
a) Show that one can look at the construction of the year number by referring to the digit columns.  For the year 1234 the ‘4’ is in the ‘units’ column, the ‘3’ is in the ‘tens’ column, the ‘2’ is in the ‘hundreds’ column and the ‘1’ is in the ‘thousands’ column. thousands hundreds tens units
­________ ________ ________ ________
1 2 3 4
b) Remind the students that if there are two zeros at the end of the year, one is in the ‘units’ column and another in the ‘tens’ column, then that section of two zeros is pronounced ‘hundred’ as in 1500 or 1800.
c) If there is a zero in the tens column only, it is pronounced “oh”.  The first two years in the third row are pronounced thirteen oh one (1301) and fifteen oh four (1504).  Notice the first pair of numbers in the year are pronounced the same as always (thirteen and fifteen).
d) Have a different student pronounce all the years in Row 3.
e) Have the class repeat the same row.
A STEP 6     ROW 4 on HO 3                 ZERO IN UNITS COLUMN                                  YEARS
a) Tell the class that if there is a zero in the units column, it is pronounced like any regular year without a zero: two pairs of numbers.  For example: 1940 and 1944     (nineteen forty and nineteen forty-four)
b) Have the class repeat the years in the fourth row.
A STEP 7     ROW 5 on HO 3                  ZERO IN HUNDREDS COLUMN                        YEARS
a) Explain that if there is a zero in the hundreds column, it also is to be said like any regular year without a zero.  For example:  1033 (ten thirty-three)     2019 (twenty nineteen)     2020 (twenty twenty)
b) Have the class say the years in the fifth row.
A STEP 8     ROW 6 on HO 3                  3 ZEROS or 2 ZEROS IN CENTER                       YEARS
a) Write 1000 on the board and ask the students to pronounce it.   (one thousand) or (the year one thousand)
b) Write 1001 and 1002 and elicit ‘one thousand and one’ and ‘one thousand and two’.
c) So, if the year has three zeroes (as in 1000 or 2000) or two zeros in the center (2008 or 2009), we use the word ‘thousand’ in its pronunciation.
(the year one thousand or two thousand / two thousand and eight or two thousand and nine)
d) Have the class pronounce the years in the sixth row.
A STEP 9     SECOND HALF                  SUMMARY WORKSHEET                                  YEARS
a) Have the students pronounce the seven years following the table of six rows.

(1905, 1950, 2000, 1876, 2100, 2032 2001)

b) Tell the students to put the years in the appropriate blank next to the right category.
c) If the students are at a low level, you can have them check in pairs before going over the answers.  You can also ask them to write out the years in the line below.
d) Elicit the right answers and ask if they have any questions or doubts.
The following is a recording of the pronunciation of the years as they are introduced in the above lesson plan.  Perhaps some teachers might prefer the option of having a different person say them and that is why it is offered here.  The years presented correspond directly to the steps described in this teacher’s guide.

YEARS  WORKSHEET  (Steps 3 – 9)     APPAUD 17

Students can listen to and repeat the years

YEARS    Introducing their pronunciation

on HO 3
Step 3: 50 200 201 606 487 999 1
Step 4: 1100 1200 1300 2300 3200 4800 2
Step 5: 1301 1504 1607 1708 1803 1909 3
Step 6: 1410 1514 1330 1717 1770 1220 4
Step 7: 2015 2050 2036 1048 1076 2076 5
Step 8: 3000 3004 3005 1000 1007 2008 6
Step 9: 1905 1950 2000 1876 2100 2032 2001



Handout for speaking practice by row

B STEP 1      FIRST CLASS                       PRACTICE                                                       YEARS
a) Place students into pairs and give each group one copy of HO 4.
b) One student says all the numbers in the first row.  Then the second student says all the numbers in the second row and they continue to alternate until all the numbers are spoken, or until you feel they have had enough time.
c) Monitor the pairs while they are speaking, helping them when necessary and if a few difficulties arise, make note of them and speak of them when everyone is finished in a brief feedback session.


Students can listen to and repeat the years

600    1904    1400    1710    2008    2052

1380    1667     801    2009    1500    1608

3200    1470    1794    1805     400    2007

1100    2008    1601    1999    1470    2013

B STEP 2      FUTURE CLASSES             PRACTICE                                                        YEARS
a) Some groups, especially low to mid-range levels, require further practice so you can repeat Step 1 in the next class and occasionally in future classes, just so they don’t forget.  Here are some alternative ways of using the same handout:
● You could spread it out over more classes by having the students only do the first 6 rows one class and the second half another day.
● For something different you could suggest that they start from the bottom row and work themselves up.
● Or do an entire column before switching partners.
● Or have one student randomly point to 3 or 4 different years and the other has to pronounce them quickly.
b) You could have the students find 3 inventions / discoveries / events (like when X officially became a country) for homework and in the next class put them into small groups.  One student quizzes the others on not only who discovered or invented something but also the year.  They could make it into a multiple choice for the years, so a greater variety of years could be used, such as a) 1900   b) 1904   c) 1990   d) 2004.
c) Do APPAUD 18 (the third recording in this lesson plan) as a dictation.  Play the audio and students write down the years.
d) Work it into your future classes.  It only takes a few seconds, like having someone say the date in a reading text aloud, or you could solicit when something may have happened while discussing some theme or another.

Handouts for APP 3-2    Years

HO 3 Years
Student worksheet

Used in part A

HO 3  Years
Answer key

Used in part A

HO 4  Years
Speaking practice

Used in part B

APP 3-2