4 : dates
This is a point on which
British English and American English
When dates are expressed in words, this is not a problem, as the use of
full words will identify the date with no possible ambiguity.
Writing dates in figures
When writing dates in figures, it
can be vital to know whether one is
writing for British (or European) readers or American readers. If there
is any doubt,
or if one is writing for an international readership, it may be
necessary to use words rather than figures, in order to avoid ambiguity.
means "the fourth of May 2024" in British English
but it means "April fifth 2024" in American English
The confusion is possible with all dates between 1st and 12th of each
month: from the thirteenth of the month onwards, no confusion is
possible... for obvious reasons.
Written and spoken dates
Any date can be written or spoken in several different ways, using
figures or a combination of figures and words.
It is important to note that in spoken
English, dates normally include the words the
: these are not
not consistent. While Americans always write numerical dates using the
order Month > Day > Year, America's national
Independence day, is commonly known as '"The fourth of July"
"July Fourth"; and Oliver Stone's 1989 movie is entitled "Born on the
Fourth of July".
may also use the American form as in "May the twentieth", but when
writing, the logical order Day > Month > Year
British and American English, years are generally expressed in spoken
English as two two-digit numbers. The only exceptions are years ending
in -00 to -09
Twenty oh-seven (or two thousand and seven)
use of "Two thousand and...." for years following 2000 was common at
the start of the millennium, but has now almost been lost in British
English, and is fading in American English, as Americans return to the
more traditional format.
dates, it is common to abbreviate the months of the year to three
letters normally followed by a full stop or period. September can be
reduced to three or four letters.
Feb. Mar. Apr. May
Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. or Sept.
Oct. Nov. Dec.
and texts © Linguapress.com 2009 - 2023 except where otherwise
the form on our get