BC and AD or BCE and CE ( Historical Terms )

ABBREVIATIONS WITH YEARS ( AD, BC, CE, BCE … )

We can see some abbreviations which are written with years. Let see these abbreviations and their using.




1) BC / AD

We sometimes see AD, BC which are added after  years such as AD 1000, 200 BC.

BC is the abbreviated form of “Before Christ”.  It refers to a year before Jesus Christ was born in English. “BC” is always written after the year.

Examples:

  • This Battle took place in 91 BC.
  • during sixth century BC
  • 556 BC
  • 44 BC




AD is the abbreviated form of “Anno Domini” which is a Latin phrase with the meaning of “in the year of the Lord”. It refers to a year after Jesus Christ was born. “AD” should be written before the year but we can see it after the year sometimes.

Examples:

  • He died in AD 91.
  • during twelfth century AD
  • 1200
  • AD 800 / 800 AD

Note:

If neither of these abbreviations are written, the date is accepted as “AD“.

 

2) BCE / CE

On the other hand, some people prefer to use “BCE” and “CE” words as abbreviations instead of “BC” and “AD”. Because they think that these abbreviations are more neutral terms for ( secular terms )

The abbrevations “CE” and “BCE” are becoming more and more common today.

BCE is the abbreviated form of “Before Common/Current/Christian Era”. It refers to a year before the birth of Jesus Christ, when the Christian calendar starts counting years. “BCE” is an alternative term for “BC” and  always written after the year.

Examples:

  • Those animals lived between 1100 and 1800 BCE.
  • 950 BCE
  • 20 BCE
  • 1000 BC = 1000 BCE ( “BC” and “BCE” represent the same time frame )

CE is the abbreviated form of “Common/Current/Christian Era”. It refers to a year after the birth of Jesus Christ, when the Christian calendar starts counting years. “CE” is an alternative term for “AD” and always written after the year.

Examples:

  • These countries were independent in 500 CE.
  • 800 CE
  • 10 CE
  • AD 400 = 400 CE ( “AD” and “CE” represent the same time frame )

Note:

These abbreviations “BC, BCE, AD, CE” are capitalized.

 

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