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Commas in Dates

When writing a date, a comma is used to separate the day from the month, and the date from the year.

July 4, 1776, was an important day in American history.

I was born on Sunday, May 12, 1968.

But if you’re writing the date in day-month-year format, you don’t need a comma.

The project will commence on 1 June 2018.

Here’s a tip:  Commas can be tricky, but they don’t have to trip you up. Grammarly’s writing assistant can help you make sure your punctuation, spelling, and grammar are tip-top in everything you write. Try Grammarly for free. 

Do use a comma if you’re including a day of the week with the date. Note the use of the comma after the date when it appears in the middle of a sentence.

On Friday, October 28, at four o’clock, we’ll have a small gathering in the office kitchen to celebrate Mark’s birthday.

Please come out on Saturday, April 15, 2017, to show your support for the marathon runners.

When you’re giving only a month and a year, you don’t need a comma.

I haven’t seen this much snow since January 2002.

Notice how in our examples above, the dates are expressed as cardinals, not ordinals—as in, there’s no th, rd, or nd after the numeral: April 15, 2017, instead of April 15th, 2017. In formal writing, always express cardinal numbers in dates, even though when we might say a date out loud we express it as an ordinal: “January third.” 

If you use a construction with of, it is OK to use an ordinal number. It is also acceptable to use an ordinal number when referring to a specific day without referring to the month.

Xiomara gave birth on the 10th of June.

Xiomara’s baby was born on the tenth.

When you’re expressing a date in this way, with the ordinal before the month, you don’t need a comma.

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