#GrammarTrivia: Writing dates

Let’s identify the different ways we write dates in English!

You might have seen it written as September 27th, 2015.

But it can also be written this way: 27 September 2015.

What is the difference between the two? Which one is correct? The answer is that both are correct. It is simply a matter of using British or American English.

Writing dates with British English

In British English (BrE), the most common way is to begin with day first, then followed by month and year.


  • 4 July 2015. (4/7/2015)

It can also be written in ordinal numbers.


  • 4th of July, 2015.
  • Notice that there is an ‘of’ between month and day.

Writing dates in American English

Meanwhile, in American English (AmE), the rule is to begin by month then followed by day.


  • July 4th, 2015. (7/4/2015)
  • Notice how they use ordinal instead of cardinal number.

Americans also use the 4th of July format, sometimes. But generally they tend to stick to the month-day format.

So which format should I use?

It’s all up to you. Just remember to be consistent with it. Which means, if you are writing a letter, if you begin it with AmE, then you have to continue writing it in AmE.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary Blog

Written @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, June 21, 2011; and recompiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 27 September 2015

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