English Dates

English Dates


Writing the date

We write the date in English in different ways. The most common way in British English is to write the day of the month first, then the month (starting with a capital letter) and then the year:

20 January 1993

14 November 2005

We can also write the date in numbers only:

20 January 1993 = 20/1/1993

14 November 2005 = 14–11–2005 or 14.11.05

Sometimes the last two letters of the number as spoken can be used (thrdstnd):

Today is the 7th September.

The grand opening is on 1st June. or … on June 1st.

With the exception of May and June, months can be shortened as follows:


Dates in American English

In written American English, the month of the date comes before the day and year. For example, Independence Day in the USA is on July 4th each year. In the year 2000 the date was 4/7/2000 in British English. In American English this is written 7/4/2000.

Speaking the date

We ask the date or about dates in several ways. We can add the and of when we reply:

What date did they get married?


What date is it?


It’s the first of June. (1st June)


What’s the date today?


It’s June the first. (June 1st)


What’s today’s date?


Fifteenth of April. (15th April)

We talk about years like this:

Before the year 2000

1492: fourteen ninety-two

1700: seventeen hundred

1801: eighteen hundred and one or eighteen oh /əʊ/ one

1908: nineteen oh eight

After the year 2000

2000: two thousand

2003: two thousand and three or twenty oh three

2012: two thousand and twelve or twenty twelve

Typical error

  • Make sure you use the correct abbreviated form:

My birthday is the 28th of January.

Not: … the 28st …