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How to write dates?

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Writing

In British English, dates are written in the order day, month and year. Note that the names of months always begin with capital letters.

Examples are given below.

  • 15 August 1990
  • 28 March 2000

Sometimes, the last two letters of the number word (st, nd, rd or th) are added to the date.

  • 15th August 1990
  • 28th March 2000

A comma is normally inserted between the month and the year when the date comes inside a sentence.

  • I was born on 26th May, 1979.

In American English, it is common to write the month first and to put a comma before the year. Americans write August 15, 1990.

The date may be written entirely in figures. Different formats are possible.

  • 30.3.2005
  • 19/2/2002
  • 30-2-1999

All Figure Dates

All figure dates are written differently in British and American English. British people put the day first while Americans begin with the month. So for example, 10.3.2005 means 10 March 2005 in Britain and October 3, 2005 in America.

The names of decades are often written like this: the 1980s.

To distinguish between dates before and after the birth of Christ, we use the abbreviations BC and AD. BC follows the date; AD can come before or after the date.


To say what the date is, use the first / second, etc. of January / February, etc. To ask what the date is, use Whatís the date today?

  • What is the date today?
  • It is the third of August today. (OR It is August the third today.)
  • It is the tenth of May today. (OR It is May the tenth today.)
  • Tomorrow is the eighteenth of December. (OR Tomorrow is December the eighteenth.)
  • Itís the tenth of March. (OR It is March the tenth.)

To say what date something is happening use on before the date.

  • I was born on the eighteenth of May, 1979. (OR I was born on May the eighteenth, 1979.)
  • John and Mary got married on the fifth of May, 2012. (OR John and Mary got married on May the fifth, 2012.)
  • I will be in New York on the twenty-third of October. (OR I will be in New York on October the twenty-third.)
  • His father died on the twelfth of June, 1964. (OR His father died on June the twelfth, 1964.)


See Also

How to write dates?
Use of Capital letters
Some useful spelling rules
Paragraph writing
Formal and informal speech and writing
Newspaper headlines grammar
Newspaper headlines vocabulary Updated!
Italicization rules
Letter writing
Essay writing
Email writing tips
Resume writing
Cover-letter writing
Personal letter writing tips
Thank you notes
Condolence letter writing tips
TOEFL writing tips New!





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