Grammatically correct way to write dates


Do you know the grammatically correct way to write a date? It can be a tricky affair, especially, when you are writing a date in an invitation card or a formal document. Is a comma needed? Or do you have to make use of a period? What comes first, the month or the date?  Most of us get confused about using punctuation when writing dates. Therefore, we decided to write this article to help you learn the grammatically correct way of writing dates.

Correct Grammar

There are rules in English grammar that state how to write a date. Although, you may be amused to know that grammar rules apply to something as simple as writing a date, but don’t ignore to learn the right use. You may put yourself in a difficult situation if you write a date incorrectly, for instance, for an important meeting or for your wedding invitation.  Therefore, it is better to be perfect when it comes to writing a date. Here is a simple guideline on how to write  grammatically correct dates.
We make use of ordinal and cardinal numbers when writing dates. We use ordinal numbers when we write in format – 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on. We make use of cardinal numbers when we write in format – 1, 2, and 3 and so on. When writing in American English, the right way to write a date is: May 1, 2016. The month always comes before the date and year.
But, in a statement, you have to use ordinal numbers first and write. For example: The seminar will be held on the third of May 2016.

Punctuation Rules

Comma - Most of us are confused with the usage of punctuations in dates. In the example above, it is clear that a comma is used before the year. However, in a statement, it is written as follows:

We invite you to join us on May 1, 2016 (,) for celebrations.

It is acceptable to add a comma after the year, but even if you don’t add, it is grammatically correct.

Apostrophe – When we abbreviate years, instead of writing 1970, you can write ‘70s.  Most of us tend to use an apostrophe when we write the full form – 1970’s. However, this is an incorrect way to write and the correct way is 1970s.  

In Conclusion

Hope the above examples have cleared your concept on writing dates. For more tips and tricks to Learn English, you can join an online spoken English class.


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-By Shailja Varma


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