Comma Rules for Dates in English

Instructor: Lesley King

Lesley has taught ESOL for many years, holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a doctorate degree in Instructional Leadership.

In this lesson, you will learn the different rules for using a comma when writing a date in English. You will also view tips and examples to help with remembering when and where to insert a comma with the date.

What is Today's Date?

This is a question that is asked very often. When someone answers, it is usually clear and easy to understand. But, this is not always the case when reading or writing the date. This is because there are certain rules for using a comma with a date.

A comma us used to separate parts of the date. When a comma is not used correctly to write the date in English, it can be very confusing. Let's explore the ways to correctly use commas with dates.

calendar, January

Different Ways to Write the Date

There are three very common ways to write the date in English. There is the traditional style where we spell out the month, write the number for the day, and write out the four numbers for the year. Along with other instances, this style can be used in business and personal letters.

Example - February 16, 2012

Another style for writing the date is to use numbers only, and separate using a hyphen (-). This style uses two numbers for the month, day, and year. Many people use this style for writing checks or heading papers in school.

Example - 02-16-12

A third style for writing the date is to separate digits using a forward slash (/). This also uses two digits for each part of the date.

Example- 02/16/12

Using a Comma in Writing the Date

When we write out the date in a sentence, sometimes we must use two commas. There must be a comma after the day of the month and the even after the year. This is only when the sentence continues after the date with additional information.

Example 1 - March 28, 2009, was the date of the spring festival.

Example 2 -I will do the chores June 15, 2016, so that I can share in the workload.

There are other times when a date is written in a sentence, and we will only need to use one comma. In situations such as these, the full date is the last part of the sentence. No additional information is after it.

Example 1 My birthday is July 17, 1984.

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