There are different ways to say and write the date in British and American English.
Saying the Date
There are two different ways to say the date in English:
- first the day (ordinal number), then the month
here, we say the before the day and of before the month.
- 5 October 2004 – the fifth of October, two thousand and four
- first the month, then the day (ordinal number)
In British English we say the before the day (in American English we can leave out the.)
- October 5, 2004 – October (the) fifth, two thousand and four
We use it’s to say the date in a sentence.
- It’s the fifth of October today.
Asking About The Date
To ask about the date we can say:
- What’s the date today?
What date is it today?
Writing the Date
We can write the date with words and numbers or just with numbers. We write the date day + month + year.
- 5 January 2016
We can write the day as an ordinal number.
- 5th January 2016
We can put a comma between the month and the year. This is common when the date is part of a sentence.
- The baby was born on 5(th) January, 2016.
We can also write the date using just numbers. We use a slash (/), a dot (.) or a dash (-) to separate the numbers.
Writing the Date in American English
In American English, We write the date month + day + year
- January 5(th), 2016
Compare the date in British and American English.
- 5-1-16 → 5 January 2016 (British English)
- 5-1-16 → May 1 2016 (American English)
The months (and their abbreviations) are listed below:
- January (Jan)
- February (Feb)
- March (Mar)
- April (Apr)
- August (Aug)
- September (Sep)
- October (Oct)
- November (Nov)
- December (Dec)
Days of the Week
The days of the week (and their abbreviations) are listed below:
Tuesday (Tu, Tue, Tues)
Thursday (Th, Thu, Thur, Thurs)
25th December, 1st January, …
To Note:Months and days are always written with capital letters.
- My sister was born on Thursday, 5 August, 1986.
|New Year’s Day||1st January|
|Epiphany/Three Kings’ Day||6th January|
|Valentine’s Day||14th January|
|Ascension Day||5th May|
|Mother’s Day||date changes|
|Father’s Day||date changes|
|All Saints’ Day||1st November|
|Remembrance Day||11th November|
|Christmas Eve||24th December|
|Christmas Day||25th December|
|Boxing Day||26th December|
|New Year’s Eve||31st December|
|national holiday||different for each country|
|Independence Day||different for each country|
Useful Vocabulary with Time Words
|today||Today is Monday.|
|tomorrow||Tomorrow is Tuesday.|
|the day after tomorrow||The day after tomorrow is Wednesday.|
|yesterday||Yesterday was Sunday.|
|the day before yesterday||The day before yesterday was Saturday.|
|the other day||I met him on the train the other day.|
|this week/month/year||This week has been very cold.|
|next week/month/year||I’m going to Spain next month.|
|last week/month/year||She finished studying last year.|
|in a week/month/year||Michael has an exam in a week.|
|a week/month/year ago||We moved to Manchester two years ago.|
|ages ago||The last Harry Potter book came out ages ago.|