Are you still messing with your head because you don’t know how to write the date in English every time you want to write a cover letter or business email in English? While writing the date in English may seem simple, in reality, there are some guidelines to consider.
In fact, if you want to learn how to write the date in English correctly, you must take into account the order of words, numbers, grammar and, above all, the country you are in. That’s right, there are date formats in American and British English. But don’t worry, you have come to the right place to learn in detail about this subject.
So, if you are wondering: “How do you write the date in British and American English?” “How do you write the date on a letter in English?”How to write the date in English with ordinal numbers?”, here we will answer your main doubts and give you some extra tools to master this language.
Well, join us to discover how to write the date in English without suffering along the way.
Let’s get started!
how to write the date in English with ordinal numbers?
When it comes to learning how to write the date in English, one of your doubts is probably whether you should use ordinal or cardinal numbers to write the day of your interest.
As a first point, you should know that dates in English are always written with ordinal numbers, that is, those that express order or succession such as 1st (first), 2nd (second), 3rd (third) and 4th (fourth), which translated to English would be: first, second, third and fourth.
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that’s it! Now you know how to write the date in English with ordinal numbers, and also how to read each of them. Let’s continue with some examples of dates in English so you can deepen your knowledge up to this point.
Examples of dates in English with ordinal numbers
Let’s start with a common date: “January 1”. In this case, you should use the suffix “-st ” after the 1, as indicated in the list you can find above. Therefore, in English, this date would be written in two ways:
the first of January
Now, let’s try the following date: “December 16”. When learning how to write dates in English with ordinal numbers, you should know that it can be written like this:
The sixteenth of December
Well, so far, dates in English are not giving so much trouble, are they? Let’s continue with a couple more examples, but now with more elaborate sentences:
On April 1st my little cousins made jokes on all my family members = El 1 de abril mis pequeños primos les hicieron jokes a todos los miembros de mi familia = On April 1st my littlecousins made jokes on all my family members .
I wrote the article on the 16th of November.
On February second we will celebrate my birthday. = On February 2nd we willcelebrate my birthday .
As you can see, ordinal numbers in English dates are always used, although the way they are written can vary. So, is it clear to you how to write the date in English with ordinal numbers?
If so, let’s continue with the next section!
how to write the full date in English?
When we refer to a specific date in the month-day-year format, to write a birth date or a birthday date, we use cardinal numbers (one, two, three) instead of ordinal numbers (first, second, third)
Daniel was born on May 13. = Daniel was born on May 13.
This may seem contradictory because we normally use ordinal numbers when “talking” about dates in English.
For example, one would say “July first two thousand and twenty two”, but write it as January 1, 2022. For the sake of clarity, if you want to write this date in English within a complete sentence, you can do it in all of these ways:
Today is the 1st of January, 2022. = Hoy es 1 de enero de 2022.
The date is January 1st, 2022. = The date is January 1st, 2022.
It is Monday, January 1st, 2022. = It is Monday, January 1st, 2022.
Today’s date is Jan. 1st, 2022. = The date today is January 1, 2022.
It is 1 January 2022. = It is the first day of January in 2022.
It is the first day of January in 2022. = It is the first day of January in 2022 (less common).
That’s right, there are several formats to learn how to write the complete date in English. Below, we describe the most used ones together with an example:
“The” + Ordinal Number + “of” + Month, Year: The 21st of September, 1990.
Month + Ordinal Number, Year: March 3rd, 1947.
Day, Month + Ordinal Number, Year : Thursday, June 2nd, 2000.
Abbreviated Month + Ord inal Number, Year: Feb. 8th, 1983.
Day + Month + Year: 6 January 2021.
Note, however, that dates in English do not always have to include the day of the week or the year. In any of the above examples, these can be added or removed.
In fact, deleting the year is often the informal way to write a date in English, as it provides less information to the reader. therefore, a date should at least include the month and day.
Finally, we must emphasize that, when learning how to write the full date in English, you must make sure that the days of the week and the months always begin with a capital letter, if you include them.
Commas in English dates
Another important point to pay attention to when you are learning how to write the date in English is the classic comma. Without it, a sentence would have different interpretations.
Although many people confuse how to write the date in English with a comma, there is a general rule to avoid the most common mistakes. In that sense, the formats that you should keep in mind are the following:
Month – day – year (used in the United States): place the comma after the day and year.
Day – month – year (used in the United Kingdom and other countries): do not use the comma at all.
Let’s see what are the correct and incorrect ways to write the date in English with examples using commas:
On May 13th, 2007 Daniel was born
On May 13, 2007, Daniel was born
On May 13, 2007, Daniel was born
On 13 May 2007 Daniel was born
On the other hand, if you want to write a date in English using “of”, it is okay to use an ordinal number. Also, you can use an ordinal number when referring to a specific day without including the month.
Daniel was born on the 13th of May.
Daniel was born on the thirteenth (Daniel was born on the thirteenth).
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how do you write the date on a letter in English?
Now that you know how to write the date in English, it’s time to explain how to put it formally and informally, whether it’s in a letter to apply for a job, in a business mail or in a letter to a childhood friend.
As our teacher Veronica Ramirez, from the English for writing business emails online course, explains, learning how to write effective, readable and deal-closing emails in English is a necessary skill for today’s business and cross-cultural communication.
Therefore, you should pay attention to the tone of your letter, since writing an email to a friend is different from writing a formal letter to your employer.
Below, we will explain how to write the date in English in two scenarios:
In a formal letter
Whatever the purpose of the formal letter, applying for a job, replying to your boss or submitting an assignment to the university, put the date in full English, including the month and no abbreviations.
In British English, you can write the date as follows: “6th September 2019”, while in American English, the date format changes to the following style: “September 6, 2019”.
In an informal mail
On the other hand, if your letter requires a less formal response (for example, a letter to a friend), you can use a short English date format. Generally, only numbers separated by dots or slashes are used, instead of writing the month .
It is also acceptable to shorten the year, as in the following cases:
You can also write the date in English by shortening the month to save space:
8 December 2020 8 Dec 2020
7 October 7 Oct
As we mentioned before, when writing a date in English, months are always capitalized, whether in a formal letter or an informal letter.
how do you write the date in British and American English?
If writing dates in English sometimes confuses you, it’s probably because the formats for learning how to write the date in English vary around the world, as we encounter different writing styles in physical and digital texts.
Perhaps you’re still not quite sure about how to write the date in British and American English, but, rest assured: the key to overcoming your struggle on how to write the date in English is to understand its different forms, then apply them clearly and coherently in a sentence .
In both American and British English, the order of words or numbers will depend on the context. Below, we will briefly review how to write the date in English in both cases:
Dates in British English
According to the Vaughan Group, a Spanish school of English courses, dates in British and American English vary depending on the format. In the first case, the following structure must be followed:
day + month + year
In that sense, dates in British English take one of the following forms:
13 April 2019
13th April 2019
The 13th of April 2019
The 13th of April, 2019
In the examples below, the “the” and “of” are optional, but if you use them, you must add both, as it would be incorrect to say “13th of April” or “the 13th April”.
While the numbers may be separated by periods, slashes or hyphens, the format is usually the same, either in the full date or in the abbreviated form. In fact, knowing how to write the date in British English is quite easy to remember, as it has a logical order.
Also, commas are not necessary, although they can be used to separate the month from the year, as a matter of style. For example, if you want to add the name of the day, it should go before the date and should also be separated by a comma or joined by “the” and “for”.
Sunday, 13 April 2019
Sunday the 13th of April, 2019
Dates in American English
On the other hand, the date format in American English changes a bit. In this case, the structure is as follows:
month + day + year
Therefore, the date in American English should be written as follows:
April 13th, 2019
Sunday, April 13th, 2019
Remember that you cannot omit commas when separating the day and year, and of course, the name of the day must appear at the beginning.
which style to choose?
The choice of style for practicing how to write the date in English depends on how formal you want the document to be and how much space you have. however, there are two aspects that are really important, whatever style you choose:
Write the date in the correct format for the style selected.
Do not use different styles within the same document unless you have a good reason to do so.
So, now that you know how to write the date in English, we recommend you to continue exploring more about the differences between British and American English, for that, you can download some of these apps to learn English from your smartphone.
Free resources to complement your new English knowledge
promise is a promise! In this section, you’ll find the free tools that will help you take your English proficiency to the next level. While learning how to date in English is a great step towards the professional level, you can’t help but practice what you’ve learned so far in your day-to-day life.
1. The most used verbs in English
If after reading this article you already know how to write the date in English, but you still have difficulty conjugating the verbs in this language, don’t worry anymore. This list with the most used verbs in English will be your best friend from now on.
Find the conjugation of 50 verbs in past simple, past participle and gerund, their present tense form and also their equivalent in Spanish. Without a doubt, this resource will make a difference in your learning process.
Download our list of the most used verbs in English.
2. Exercises on connectors in English
Just as dates in English tend to be complicated for some, English connectors can present problems for others. If you belong to the second group, these exercises will get you out of trouble every time you need to write a text fluently.
Moreover, English connectors will also be useful for interacting with any non-Spanish speaker. So, you can’t miss this resource to improve your communication skills.
3. List of most used words in English
When learning a language, vocabulary is key. Therefore, while learning how to put the date in English is a great step, it is also necessary that you discover which are the most used words in this language in order to be able to manage skillfully in any situation .
Practicing these words in your daily life is the easiest way to speak English like a pro.
4. English alphabet poster
One of the most common difficulties when learning a language is pronunciation. If you relate to this statement, this English alphabet poster will help you greatly improve your English speaking .
In time, we’re sure you’ll be an expert at saying all the date formats in English without hesitation.
5. Sample job interview in English
Finally, if all your efforts pay off, we are sure that you will be able to get a job in English to take your career to the next level. When that time comes, you already know how to write the date in English to contact the recruiter and arrange your interview day.
However, we advise you to check out this sample job interview to practice before the big day, so you can show off and secure the job of your dreams .
By the way, if your interview is virtual, we advise you to take a look at our English for Video Call Meetings course to master the fears that may arise while talking to recruiters.
Sample presentation in English
Download our free sample presentation in English and lose the fear of speaking in public in this language that is dominating the world.
As you can see, learning how to write the date in English is quite simple if you correctly apply its various formats. Fortunately, you have this guide at hand for you to consult every time you have doubts when practicing how to write the date in American and British English.
Now that you know how to write dates in English like a pro, you only have to determine which date format suits your style and the occasion. Remember that learning English is essential for building work and professional relationships, managing projects with a diverse group of talents, or simply expanding your business globally.
In fact, according to Education First, English is the language of international business, so you should make the most of it. To do so, we recommend that you complement your learning with our English courses.