The reader often sees your date header first, so it's important that you make a good first impression by writing the date correctly. Writing the date properly is an important skill for a variety of occasions, including writing a check, letters and party invitations. But writing the entire date correctly isn't always easy, especially given the number of short-format variations used by modern society. In the United States, the format for proper date-writing follows the standard American format for both business and casual social occasions.
- Skill level:
Write the name of the month such as April, making sure to capitalise the first letter of the month name. If you are writing a letter, the date should begin approximately 2 inches from the top of the page in the upper right corner.
Write the day number followed by the appropriate ending. If the date were the 11th day of April, your date, up until this point, should read "April 11th." For the first three days of the month use the following endings "1st, 2nd, 3rd," all other number endings conclude with "th." For less formal events and business letters remove the "th" entirely.
Place a comma after the number ending and write the complete yea,r such as 2010. Your date should now read, "April 11th, 2010." For business occasions, your date should instead read, "April 11, 2010."
Tips and warnings
- For formal contracts, or important items, avoid using any shortcuts for date writing, such as 3/10/2010. It's easy to confuse the 3 and 10 depending on your location and the recipient. Also, using abbreviations seems casual and sloppy, write the month as, "February" instead of "Feb."
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