How to Read and Write Dates in English

20 July 2022 / Team Fun English Course

Dates and numbers are one of the most important things to understand when you’re learning English. It may sound simple, but when you write or speak about dates in English, you must be clear about them. So, here are some tips on how to read and write dates in English.

How to Write Dates in English

how to read and write dates in English

There are differences in how you read, write, or say dates in British and America. Therefore, you need to choose the writing style in the needed English.

Here is some information about dates in British and dates in America!

Dates in British

First, let’s talk about how to write dates in British English.

You must order the way you write dates from the day to the month in British English. It means you need to write them from the narrowest subject (the detail, which is day), to the broadest subject (which is month), then the last one is the category (the year). 

Here’s the example:

Date: 12, Month: 4, Year: 2022

In British English, you can write it like this:

The 12th of April 2022 or 12 April 2022.

If you want it to be detailed, you can add the day before you write the date, month, and year. You can find this format for writing dates in English both in British English (United Kingdom) and Australia.

Dates in American

Next, let’s talk about dates in American English.

In American English, you should write the month before the dates. This format is commonly used in conversations, mostly in the United States and any American English conventions.

Therefore, here is an example of how you write dates in American English.

Date: 12 – Month: 4

Then, you should write it like this.

April 12 or 04/12

Next, if you want to add the year, you must add a comma between day and year. Here’s an example.

Date: 12, Month: 4, Year: 2022

Then, you should write it like this.

April 12, 2022 or Monday, April 12, 2022 (in case you want to add the exact day).

The International Standard

Sometimes, we need to use the international standard of dates to avoid confusion between American English and British English. To use this format, you need to write down the information from the broadest subjects (year, month) to the narrowest detail (the dates). In other words, you need to write it from the year, month, and then the details of the dates and day. Here’s an example for you.

  1. In British English, we wrote “12 April, 2022”
  2. In American English, we wrote it “April 12, 2022”

Therefore, for the international date standard, you can write it as 2022/04/12 or 2022 April 9. You don’t need to add any comma between the year, month, and date.

One important thing you need to remember when you are using the international date standard is to write the full 4-digit year. So, you can’t write 2022 as 22.

The Formality Level

how to read and write dates in English

When writing a letter or submitting your works, you need to use the different formality level of writing date as when sending a text to your friends. So, here are the differences between each formality level scope in writing dates.

Highly Formals

First, to write or speak dates on a highly formal occasion, you must spell them from the day, month, and year. For example:

“You must submit your task on the first of April in the year two thousand and twenty-three.”

Usually, this format is used in formal documents, formal certificates, or formal invitations (weddings, meetings, etc.)

Formal and Semi-Formal

Next, you can spell out only the month for the formal or semi-formal occasion. For example:

“I will come to your party on 12 April 2022.” or “I will come to your party on 12 April 2022.”

This format also often appears in many academic-style documents.

That’s all about how to read and write dates in English. Make sure you choose the right format and grammar for the needed occasion!

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