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How to Write the Date Correctly

Very often, students are faced with the need to write dates in their papers. Not all young people know how to do it properly. Here are some helpful tips for you.

Dates in British English

The main difference between the British and American versions is the word order when writing or reading dates. In British English, the formula for writing dates is as follows: day of the week-date-month -year:

  • Monday, 16 May.
  • Monday, the 16th of May, 2016.

In informal correspondence, you can often find the abbreviation of the names of the months: 16 December 2016 - 16 Dec 2016. Writing a date can vary depending on the letter format or style. It is not necessary to use the words “the” and “of,” but if you have decided to use this option, you must write the full form. Options like “the 16th May, 2016” or “16th of May, 2016” will be considered errors. As for commas, their use is optional. When you are reading a date, you need to pronounce the full form using "the" and "of."

Dates in American English

The date goes after a month in this case. A comma is placed after the number to separate it from the year. The formula for the American variant of writing dates is as follows: day-month-date-year:
  • Monday, May 14.
  • Monday, May 16, 2016.

As you have noticed, the words “the” and “of” are not used when writing a date in the American version, therefore “the 16th of May” or” May the 16th” will be considered errors. Very often, people prefer to write dates not in words, but in numbers, it concerns especially filling out documents or forms. As in the British and the American versions, the formula for writing dates is the same, but instead of the name of the month, its number is written here.


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