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Writing Dates and Times

Rule: The following examples apply when using dates:

The meeting is scheduled for June 30.
The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.
We have had tricks played on us on April 1.
The 1st of April puts some people on edge. (Some prefer to write it out: The first of April)

Rule: There are differing policies for expressing decades using numerals. Some write the 1980s and the ’80s, others write the 1980′s and the 80′s. However, using two apostrophes (the ’80′s) is awkward and is not recommended.

Correct:
During the ’80s, the world’s economy grew.
During the 1980s, the world’s economy grew.
During the 1980′s, the world’s economy grew.

Not Advised:
During the ’80′s, the world’s economy grew.

Rule: Some writers spell out the time of day, others prefer numbers.

Example: She gets up at four thirty before the baby wakes up.
Example: The baby wakes up at 5 o’clock in the morning.

Rule: Some use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized.

Example: Her flight leaves at 6:22 a.m.
Example: Please arrive by 12:30 p.m. sharp.

Rule: It is clearer to use noon and midnight rather than 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 a.m.

Note: You may use AM and PM, A.M. and P.M., am and pm, or a.m. and p.m.
Some put a space after the numeral, others do not.

Example: Her flight leaves at 6:22 a.m.
Example: Her flight leaves at 6:22am.
Example: Please arrive by 12:30 P.M. sharp.

 

Pop Quiz: Correct or Incorrect?

1. The last outbreak of smallpox occurred in the late seventy’s.
2. Can you get here by 12:00 midnight?
3. Please deliver the package by August 1st.

 

Pop Quiz Answers:

1. The last outbreak of smallpox occurred in the late seventies.
2. Can you get here by midnight? (leave out 12:00)
3. Please deliver the package by August 1. (OR by the first of August OR by the 1st of August)

Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008, at 11:24 pm


523 Comments

523 Responses to “Writing Dates and Times”

  1. Peggy says:

    I’m confused at the use of “th” in the dates on this website (e.g. “This entry was posted on Sunday, August 24th, 2008 …”

    Shouldn’t it be “This entry was posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008?”

    If the “th” is correct, please explain why. Thanks

    • Jane says:

      Peggy, you are absolutely right that the “th” is incorrectly used in this blog software. Maybe we can start a letter-writing campaign to WordPress.

      • Cj says:

        For an itinerary what would be the correct way to write the dates. Would it be: January 8 to 15, 2014. or Janyary 8 – 15, 2014. Thanks

      • Danny says:

        In England it’s normal to write the ‘th’ after the date, so 24th is correct!

        • In British English it would be normal to write “24th August” rather than “August 24th.” In regard to our answer to Peggy of January 22, 2009, our website and The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation represent American English rules.

          • Veronika says:

            Hi Jane, English is my second language. So, I wanted to ask you why it is incorrect to write the ‘th’ after the date?

          • Our website and The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation represent American English rules.The Chicago Manual of Style’s rule 9.32 states, “When specific dates are expressed, cardinal numbers are used, although these may be pronounced as ordinals.
            May 26, 2008, was a sad day for film buffs.

            When a day is mentioned without the month or year, the number is usually spelled out in ordinal form.
            On November 5, McManus declared victory. By the twenty-fifth, most of his supporters had deserted him.”

            Other style guides say that it is also acceptable to write “the 19th of February” or “the 19th of February, 2014.” Writing “February 19th” or “February 19th, 2014,” is not recommended in American style guides. British English rules are different.

  2. sandy says:

    Thanks for the useful resource. It would be great if the Word Editor such as Microsoft Word could make corrections when mistakes are made in writing dates and times.

  3. Phillip K. Dunn says:

    Sandy, I agree with you that Microsoft Word should correct dates with its AutoCorrect feature. It does, however, insert dates correctly when using date fields. Both Word and Excel’s “long date” format will look look like this: Monday, September 14, 2009.

    In Word 2007, click on the Insert tab, then click Date & Time (right-hand side, Text group). In Excel 2007 on the Home tab, click the Number Format drop-down arrow and select Long Date.

    I am a computer applications instructor and I always mention this to my adult students.

  4. nana says:

    How do you write time? he was late 4 minutes and 30 seconds or 4:30 minutes?

    • Jane says:

      If you write 4:30, you are indicating a particular time, not a duration of time. Since you are writing about minutes and seconds (two different categories), follow my rule that says this: If you have numbers in different categories, use numerals for one category and spell out the other.
      Example: All 30 history students attended the four plays. (Students are represented with figures; plays are represented with words.)
      Your Example: He was four minutes and 30 seconds late.
      In most circumstances, you would actually write this: He was 4 1/2 minutes late.

      I asked for five pencils, not 50.

      • Amanda says:

        That sounds great, except that it would be incorrect if he was four minutes and six seconds late. You use words for numbers when they are below 10 (one, two, etc) and numerals when they are above 10 (20, 30, 195).

        • Jane says:

          Yes, our answer would be incorrect if the question had asked about four minutes and six seconds, however, Nana’s question was in regard to four minutes and 30 seconds. A case could also be made regarding consistency. Even though the quantities here are different, i.e., minutes and seconds, they are both units of time. Therefore, one could argue that even though one number is below 10 and one above, they should both be written either as numerals or as words. For example: four minutes and thirty seconds OR 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

    • Irving says:

      I hate to be picayune, but 4 1/2 minutes, if it were correct to write it that way, would be 4.5 minutes, not 4.3 minutes.

  5. Judy says:

    Should it be 5:00 AM or just 5 AM?

    • Jane says:

      According to the AP Style Manual, either 5:00 a.m. or 5 a.m. would be correct. Even mixing the two is fine. (See below) Note, however, that the standard is a.m. and p.m., not AM and PM.
      AP Style Manual: Q. Can you please tell me how time should be written. Is 9 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. corrrect? Or, should it appear as 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. Thank you!
      A. AP style is 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 2007-05-13 (Source: Ask the Editor, Dates, time periods)

  6. T. Stizza says:

    What is the correct way to write the following:

    The trade was executed at 3:00 p.m., PT, on Wednesday, June 30th.

    • Jane says:

      The best way to write this: The trade was executed on Wednesday, June 30, at 3:00 p.m., PST (or PDT). Note that the day and date appear before the time. Also, I replaced PT with PST or PDT, the more standard abbreviations. Finally, I eliminated the “th” from “June 30.”

  7. Shari says:

    would “The morning of July 31, 1901″
    be correct, or ….July 31st,1901 ?

    This is still confusing for me.

    • Jane says:

      Do not add “st” or “th” to dates that include the year. Even dates that do not include the year do not need pronunciation help. Example: Her birthday is on August 28, which falls on a Saturday this year.

  8. Shari says:

    Thanks for your anwer, but now I have another question (or two): is the following correct?

    Working 9 to 5, five days a week, (no AM, PM?)

    Also, 48 hour strike, the first 72 hours, 24 hour day? Should the numbers be spelled? If not, should the number and hour or hours hyphonated?

    • Jane says:

      With “working 9 to 5,” you don’t need “AM/PM” because it is an expression and the “AM/PM” is understood. If, however, you say, “He needs to be at work by 10,” you would want to clarify morning vs. evening.
      Hyphenation answers: 48-hour strike Explanation: Hyphenate compound adjectives (48-hour) in front of a noun (strike).
      the first 72 hours Explanation: Do not hyphenate onto a noun (hours).
      24-hour day Explanation: Hyphenate compound adjectives (24-hour) in front of a noun (day).
      Numbers greater than nine (or ten) do not need to be spelled out.

  9. Shari says:

    Thanks, you were a great help!

  10. Joann says:

    Does it matter that the year of the date falls on to the second line in a paragraph? For example:
    “…the next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 21,
    2010.”

  11. Man-Khoi says:

    Hi,
    I am troubled by this question from my daughter,
    Is “The first telephone directory was issued February 21, 1878, by the New Haven Telephone Company.” fine enough or the word “on” is required before the date?

    Thank you for your help,

    • Jane says:

      Use “on” with a complete date: The first telephone directory was issued on February 21, 1878…

      • Cindy says:

        If you daughter is writing a journalism article, the word “on” is omitted before dates, as specified by the “Associated Press Stylebook,” which is the bible of journalism writing.

        • Jane says:

          Yes, newspapers are always looking to save space where they can. For other formal writing, such as a report for school, I still recommend including “on.”

  12. Sarah says:

    What about the use of dates as adjectives? I’ve seen conflicting guidance on whether a comma should follow a date when it’s used as a adjective: the July 2, 2010, meeting or the July 2, 2010 meeting.

    • Jane says:

      the July 2, 2010, meeting
      Always use commas.

      • JC says:

        I want to make sure that I understand this correctly…

        A full month-day-year date always requires commas before and after the year (that is, unless the date appears at the end of a sentence: e.g., “She will attend the meeting on October 15, 2012.”). This is always the case regardless of how the date is being used. For instance, even if the date is being used as an adjective, commas are still required to be placed before and after the year. As such:

        Incorrect: “I need a copy of your April 17, 2012 presentation
        on the new company policies.”

        Correct: “I need a copy of your April 17, 2012, presentation
        on the new company policies.”

        Did I get it right? I’ve been struggling with this particular comma rule for some time now, and I’d really appreciate it if you could let me know if I finally understand it. Thank you.

        • Jane says:

          Yes, our Comma rule 5a states, “Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year.” The Chicago Manual of Style does acknowledge that when dates are used as adjectives, the construction is awkward and is best avoided. A better wording of your sentence might be “I need a copy of your presentation of April 17, 2012, on the new company policies.”

  13. Dorothy says:

    What is the correct way to express yearly quarters? Is using roman numerals correct? For example IQ2010, IIQ2010, or is the correct way to use numbers 1Q2010? Do you need to express the year completely or would IQ10 work?

    • Jane says:

      This is a style question. I am not sure of the best answer. I looked up your question in The Chicago Manual of Style but couldn’t find the answer after approximately 30 minutes of searching. Let me know what you find out!

  14. Kris says:

    I am confused about punctuating dates in sentences. Should a comma be placed before “as of September 30, 2010″ in the following sentence?

    Example: We recomputed totals to determine whether the general ledger trial balance was in balance as of September 30, 2010.

    And one more question…Should commas be placed after the word “period” and after “June 30, 2010″ in the following sentence?

    Example: For purchases and sales of investments during the period July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 we traced purchases and sales to posting in their respective bank accounts.

    What is the general rule of thumb for comma placement of dates within sentences? It seems the rules have changed since I’ve been in school!

    • Jane says:

      With a complete date, place a comma before and after the year.
      …during the period July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010, we traced….
      You do not need a comma in front of expressions such as “as of.”

      • Charles Jordan says:

        In several places, particularly around October 2010, you state that when writing a date inside a sentence (with material following it), there should be a comma after the year: “The meeting is scheduled for July 4, 2012, at the Veteran’s Hall.”

        Why is this considered correct. One wouldn’t put a comma if ONLY the year was included … or would one??? “The meeting is scheduled for 2012 at the Hall.” This wouldn’t look correct with a comma after the year.

        It seems to me that the only reason we put a comma after the day part of a date is for clarity when we write the date in the English way. But other Europeans write it as “30 May 2012″. In that case, is there a comma after the year??? That would seem incorrect to me.

        It seems to me that a date (whether whole or partial) is like any other word: “May 30, 2012″. We don’t put commas after other words — it seems wrong to write: “I went to the basketball game, at the Veteran’s Hall.”

        A comma, after all, is punctuation. Why should we punctuate something that is continuous?

        Charles

        • Jane says:

          The Chicago Manual of Style (6.45) says, “In the month-day-year style of dates, commas must be used to set off the year. In the day-month-year system—useful in material that requires many full dates (and standard in British English)—no commas are needed. Where month and year only are given, or a specific day (such as a holiday) with a year, neither system uses a comma.” We do not always understand the exact reasons for all of the punctuation rules, we just do our best to try to adhere to them.

  15. Jocelyn says:

    Hi Jane,

    I have a question when to make hour or day plural.

    Is the following correct:
    “Join for 24 hours, 30 days or a year.”

    How about:

    “There are three membership options: 24-hour, 30-day or annual.”

    Two other examples:
    “Is there a security deposit taken when I become a 24-hour member?”
    “Will my unlocking code work for 24 hours?”

    Thanks very much for your help.

  16. David Scott says:

    I know it is correct to put a comma after the year when writing a date like January 1, 2001, in a sentence. There is a variation that I have not found addressed online or in the Chicago Manual of Style. Does a comma follow the day numeral in a sentence? For example: “The drawing will be held on Sunday, December 19, in the auditorium.”

    • Jane says:

      Without the year following, no comma is necessary after the date.
      Example: The drawing will be held on Sunday, December 19 in the auditorium.
      However, because you are following the date with a prepositional phrase, you may use the comma after the date.

      • amy says:

        What if the sentence were: “There will be a meeting on Sunday, December 19 if you’d like to attend.” Would there be a comma after December 19?

        • Jane says:

          Our Rule 5b of Commas states, “If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma.” Since the year is omitted, leave out the comma.

  17. Jake says:

    What about if I was writing a period, for example:
    We will be there at the conference from the 15th – 19th of November, 2010.

    How would you write this?

    Thanks

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style‘s rule (6.78) says, “For the sake of parallel construction, the word to, never the en dash, should be used if the word from precedes the first element in such a pair; similarly, and, never the en dash, should be used if between precedes the first element.” Therefore, “We will be there at the conference from the 15th to the 19th of November, 2010″ is correct. However, if the sentence is reworded to remove the word from preceding the date, it could be written as “We will be there at the conference November 15–19, 2010.”

      • Loma says:

        This is in response to a question about whether it’s okay to write that a meeting is held “from the 15th – 17th of August” (or something to that effect — as I’m typing this, the message I’m replying to isn’t showing up). You said the punctuation was fine as is. The phrasing isn’t, though. If you say “from” you need to follow it with “to,” not with a dash or hyphen. So in this case they’d need to say “from the 15th to the 17th of August.” If they don’t want to use that many words, they need to rephrase it and say that the meeting will be “held August 15-17.” (Ideally they’d use an en-dash rather than a hyphen.)

        • Jane says:

          Thank you for reminding us about Chicago Manual of Style‘s rule (6.78) which says, “For the sake of parallel construction, the word to, never the en dash, should be used if the word from precedes the first element in such a pair; similarly, and, never the en dash, should be used if between precedes the first element.” It was a challenge finding it, but we corrected our error from December 2, 2010.

  18. Cathy says:

    Will you please tell me the proper way to punctuate this:

    The clerk was suspended on Monday, January 2, 2011, and Tuesday, January 03, 2011.

    • Jane says:

      The clerk was suspended on Monday, January 2, 2011, and Tuesday, January 3, 2011.
      To make sure that your numbering is consistent, drop the “0″ in the second date.

  19. Cathy says:

    Another thought… could you write it as:

    The clerk was suspended on Monday, 01/02/11, and Tuesday, 01/03/11.

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style (9.36) suggests, “For practical reasons, all-numeral styles of writing dates (5/10/99, etc.) should not be used in formal writing (except with certain dates that may be known that way: e.g., 9/11, for September 11, 2001).”

  20. Maria says:

    In regards to date, time, and location:

    Sentence structure:

    The meeting will be held on Saturday, December 14, at 7 p.m., at the Longmont Campus.

    Should a comma be after the date and after the time?

    • Jane says:

      I would recommend adding the year to your sentence, as well as stating the time as “7:00 p.m.” rather than “7 p.m.”

      The meeting will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2011, at 7:00 p.m., at the Longmont Campus.

  21. Joe says:

    How would you handle time on a split line?

    For example, is the below correct?

    “John was hoping to be able to purchase a ticket for the 10:00
    AM train to Portland.”

    • Jane says:

      I would recommend not splitting the time at the end of a line.
      “John was hoping to be able to purchase a ticket for the
      10:00 A.M. train to Portland.”

  22. Julie says:

    Sheould there be a comma after the year when stating a specific date, year and time of day?

    • Jane says:

      With a complete date, place a comma before and after the year.

      The conference will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 1:00 P.M.

  23. Julie says:

    There’s nothing so embarrassing as submitting a question containing a typo to a grammer site! (See my previous submission.)

  24. Ren says:

    Hi.

    We have a meeting on June 30.

    How do we pronounce ’30′ here? I’ve read that is pronounced differently (like June thirtieth, even if it’s 30).

    Is it correct?
    Thanks!

  25. Michael says:

    Hi, I would find out how would we phrase a sentence with 2 dates eg lessons will be held from 10 Jul 2011 to 20 Jul 2011 or lessons will be held on 10 Jul 2011 to 20 Jul 2011.

    • Jane says:

      The correct usage in US format would be:
      Lessons will be held from July10-20, 2011 OR
      Lessons will be held from July 10 through July 20, 2011.

      The correct usage in European format would be:
      Lessons will be held from 10 Jul 2011 to 20 Jul 2011.

  26. Judie Scranton says:

    If I were to write
    ” The 1st of April…” should it be a smaller st or a standard type st ?

    • Jane says:

      Standard type is fine. Some word processing programs will automatically change this to a smaller font and make it a superscript as well.

  27. Bryce says:

    Hi,
    I scanned but did not see this issue.
    Which of these formats is proper?
    March 2010 or March, 2010 – as in “… and matures in March, 2010.”
    Thanks

  28. Joni says:

    For a presentation document that is to specify the month and year alone, how is that written? Some say: June, 2011. I say June 2011. What is the rule?

    • Jane says:

      You are correct. It should be written “June 2011.” According to the Chicago Manual of Style (6.45), “Where month and year only are given, or a specific day (such as a holiday) with a year, neither system uses a comma.”

  29. Joanne says:

    I am always confused when using both a date and a time in a sentence. Some of the above cleared that up, but I am still confused about using a time range.

    The church picnic will be on July 18th at 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Am I close or do I have a way to go? I really would prefer not to have to use a year because it seems a little useless since these reminders usually go out in emails a couple days before the event.

    • Jane says:

      Yes, you are very close! All you have to do is change the word at to from.
      The church picnic will be held on July 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

  30. Bushra says:

    Hi, I am writing a critique of a tutorial which is on video. When referring to parts of the video in minutes and seconds should I write at 4:30 or 4’30″? Or is there a better way of expressing this?
    Thanks.

    • Jane says:

      The best way to express “four minutes, thirty seconds” would be 00:04:30. It is important to use eight numerals to indicate hours:minutes:seconds when referring to time in video.

  31. Nova says:

    I am writing a sentence which reads, “I rode in one of your taxis from
    La Guardia Airport to the Marriott Marquis Hotel for a 2:00 p.m. appointment.”
    Is the time written correctly?

  32. Bill says:

    Is this sentence correct:

    “Please join us in the conference room tomorrow at 2:30 p.m., for birthday cake.”

    Thanks.

  33. barb says:

    Hi,

    When referring to a date such as September 25th, 2011 and the th is superscript, should the comma after the th be superscript also? Thank you.

    • Jane says:

      No, the comma would not be superscript. Also, as shown in Rule 8 of Writing Numbers, the date should be referred to as either September 25, 2011, or as the 25th of September, 2011.

  34. sarah says:

    is this correct?

    The task in the scanner lasted 20 min. 50 sec. (I am not sure whether to write minutes, mins. I am also not sure if I need to connect 20 min. 50 sec. with a word, such as, and.

    • Jane says:

      AP Stylebook recommends spelling out hours, minutes, and seconds. You would not need a word to connect the minutes and seconds. Therefore, “The task in the scanner lasted 20 minutes 50 seconds.”

  35. sarah says:

    Is this sentence correct? I am not sure if I need to put a comma when i make a comparison.

    On the contrary, accuracy was significantly lower in the R condition(,?) than in the NR condition

    Table 1 and Figure 4 present regions that where active for each of the two experimental conditions, as compared to the empty trials.

    I cannot find a solution to this grammar problem anywhere. Thank you.

    • Jane says:

      There is no particular rule about commas when making comparisons; it’s more according to the flow of the sentence. There is no need for a comma after the word condition in the first sentence or the word conditions in the second sentence. Also in the second sentence, you probably wanted the word were rather than where.

  36. roman says:

    Hello, I’m still learning English now, I have some questions.
    1. how to write 7.15 AM in letters, is it a quarter pass seven or a quarter past seven?
    2. How to mention 14.00 in letters. is it Two PM or Fourteen O’clock?
    Maybe it sounds silly but it is confusing me. Thanks a lot.

    • Jane says:

      According to Rule 12 of Writing Numbers, “Normally, spell out the time of day in text even with half and quarter hours. With o’clock, the number is always spelled out.”

      Rule 13 says, “Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized or when using A.M. or P.M.”

      Therefore, 7:15 A.M. would be correct. (“A quarter past seven in the morning” could be used for informal writing.) For your second example, you could write either 2:00 P.M. or two o’clock in the afternoon.

  37. Paul says:

    Hi,

    I have a question on a date range. I want to write “… through September 08 – September 24.” I don’t want to write ‘September’ twice. Which is correct (if any): “September 08-24″ or “September 08 – 24″?

    The first seems, to me, that it can be confused with August 24 (08-24) as some people write dates this way. I would personally prefer the latter, but would like to know the correct way.

    Thank you!

  38. Paul says:

    Regarding my above comment, I wanted to add another option, for possible clarification.

    “September 08th – 24th”
    “September 08th-24th”
    “September 8th-24th”

    I don’t like leaving off the “0″ before a single digit date, but if there is no “rule” about it, then I suppose it doesn’t matter (please specify).

    Also, please comment on the hyphen placement and spacing, as well as possibly abbreviating the month (“Sep 08th – 24th”).

    Thank you!

    • Jane says:

      According to the section on Dashes in my book and on the GrammarBook.com website, an en dash, roughly the width of an n, is a little longer than a hyphen. It is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use the word to. Most authorities recommend using no spaces before or after en or em dashes. To form an en dash with most PCs, type the first number or word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0150 on the numerical pad on the right side of your keyboard. Then type the second number or word.

      According to the Chicago Manual of Style, “When specific dates are expressed, cardinal numbers are used.” Therefore, a “0″ before a single digit date would not be used, nor would you use “th.”

      Regarding abbreviations, AP Stylebook says, ” When a month is used with a specific date, abbreviate only Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov. and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone.”

      September 8–24 or Sept. 8–24 would be correct.

  39. Carmen Fructuoso says:

    Jane: We have a situation here at work and it has been a constant problem with someone who “knows it all.” She said that a comma should always go after a date that goes ex: January 1, 2011. So, could you tell me if the following have the correct punctuation:
    1. At the August 20, 2011 Board meeting, we decided to vote for a new design.
    2. The Commission approved the April 6, 2011 Meeting Minutes.
    3. Authorize execution of the agreement between the District, the City, and Disposal Services, Inc., for the contract period of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, for the cost of not to exceed the annual amount of $35,629.20.
    4. The March 14, 2005 issue of Business Week is going to have a cover story on our CEO.

    • Jane says:

      I’m not sure if that person at work “knows it all” or not, but she does know the rule that applies in this situation. According to Rule 5a under the “Commas” section, “Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year.” Therefore, there should be commas after the years in each of your four sentences.

      • Rochelle says:

        I read Comma rule 5a, and it doesn’t discuss when the date is used as an adjective. In all of the examples, the year (according to me) should not have a comma since one never puts a comma between an adjective and the noun it modifies: a young boy is not: a young,boy. Why do it after the year…I disagree. 5a doesn’t specify date as adjective. Can you find out more specifics on this situation? Thank you, Rochelle

        • Jane says:

          The Chicago Manual of Style says, “Dates are often used as descriptive adjectives, more often today than in years past. If a month-year or month-day date is used as an adjective, no hyphen or comma is needed {October 31 festivities} {December 2003 financial statement}. If a full month-day-year date is used, then a comma is considered necessary both before and after the year {the May 18, 2002, commencement ceremonies}. ” They do, however, acknowledge that the construction is awkward and is best avoided. Therefore, Carmen could rewrite these sentences as follows:

          At the Board meeting on August 20, 2011, we decided to vote for a new design.
          The Commission approved the meeting minutes of April 6, 2011.
          The Business Week issue of March 14, 2005, is going to have a cover story on our CEO.

          This sentence is correct as written (except for a couple minor edits to the final phrase for readability):
          Authorize execution of the agreement between the District, the City, and Disposal Services, Inc., for the contract period of July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, for a cost not to exceed an annual amount of $35,629.20.

  40. Tonya says:

    In the sentence below, can the date be written as with or without the year?

    The next one is Friday, May 17.

  41. sasha says:

    Hi:) i wanted to ask that when do we use “the” before the date??

    • Jane says:

      You would use the word “the” before an ordinal number when referring to a date, such as in the following examples:

      The bill is due on the 15th of every month.
      She was born on the 29th of July.

  42. Joanna says:

    I am producing a marketing leaflet and would like to advertise that the service is available “24 hours per day, 7 days per week”. I have been told by the person approving the leaflet that the number seven needs to be spelled out. I understand that commonly numbers under 10 are spelled, but given that it’s within a sentence and is a commonly used term, it doesn’t seem right to me!

    • Jane says:

      Grammatically, “24 hours per day, seven days per week” is correct. In the English Rules “Writing Numbers” section of this website, Rule 1 says, “Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine.”

      Rule 2 advises, “Be consistent within a category. For example, if you choose numerals because one of the numbers is greater than nine, use numerals for all numbers in that category. If you choose to spell out numbers because one of the numbers is a single digit, spell out all numbers in that category. If you have numbers in different categories, use numerals for one category and spell out the other.”

      Since “24″ refers to hours and “7″ refers to days, “24 hours per day, seven days per week” is correct. I suspect that the reason this does not seem right to you is because of the frequent use of the phrase “24/7″ written that way in informal English.

  43. Linda says:

    When writing a date should the month/day/ year ever be separated from each other on to the next line?
    Ex.
    We went on vacation June
    30, 2011.
    or
    We went on vacation June 30,
    2011.

    • Jane says:

      Personally, I don’t particularly like the look of dates carried over to the next line. However, I have not found any definitive resources that address this situation. The Chicago Manual of Style has an extensive section on word division but does not address dates at all. The only website I found that addresses this is businesswriting.com which notes, “Do not separate parts of dates, proper names, or addresses.”

  44. Tim says:

    Another comma question …

    Which of the following is correct?

    Join us Tuesday, October 11 at 2 PM.

    or

    Join us Tuesday, October 11, at 2 PM.

    I understand using PM is not preferred to p.m. (lowercase previously was my preference).

    • Jane says:

      Rule 5b in the “Commas” section of the English Rules on our website states, “If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma.” Since the year is missing from your date, you do not need a comma after the date. You do need a comma after Tuesday. I would recommend the use of complete numerals when exact times are being emphasized.

      Join us Tuesday, October 11 at 2:00 PM. (I recommend using a.m. and p.m. but AM and PM may also be used.)

  45. Ann says:

    A colleague is insisting that it is correct to document in a legal record the time of 12:14 AM. This time of course is really fourteen minutes past midnight, if you don’t document time in a 24 hour method them how would you document the time 14 minutes past midnight? Thank you.

  46. JOhn says:

    how would i write out a period of time e.g 4 hours and 43 mins.. in short form..

  47. Mike says:

    Could we add time zones? What is the proper way to punctuate the following?

    1) We are open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. P.S.T.

    2) We are open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. P.S.T.

    3) Same as 1) using “9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.”

    4) Same as 2) using “9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.”

    5) Should I consider using “Monday through Friday” instead of “Monday – Friday?”

    6) We are available Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. P.S.T. to serve you.

    This is for a business web page, but would it be different in other contexts?

    • Jane says:

      Time zones, where needed, are usually given in parentheses and do not use periods. The en dash is most often used with numbers and signifies up to and including (or through). Also, Chicago Manual of Style states, “For the sake of parallel construction, the word to, never the en dash, should be used if the word from precedes the first element in such a pair.” A.M. and P.M., AM and PM, and a.m. and p.m., are all acceptable but I am selecting AM and PM for simplicity. For a business web page or any other context, all of the following are grammatically correct :

      We are open seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PST).

      We are open Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PST).

      We are open seven days a week, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM (PST).

      We are open Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM (PST).

      We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PST).

      We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM (PST) to serve you.

  48. Roxie says:

    Is it proper to say “5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.” or “5:00-7:00 p.m.”?

    • Jane says:

      An en dash, roughly the width of an n, is a little longer than a hyphen. It is used to signify up to and including (or through). Most authorities recommend using no spaces before or after en dash. To form an en dash with most PCs, type the first number or word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0150 on the numerical pad on the right side of your keyboard. Then type the second number or word.
      Either 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. or 5:00–7:00 p.m. are correct.

      • Maia says:

        Jane, I think em dashes were accidentally used here in your reply. Thanks for all your wonderful information!

        • Jane says:

          You are welcome. Thank you for pointing out our typographical error. Rather than changing the em dashes to en dashes, we have changed them to hyphens. This reflects our new rule from the eleventh edition of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation which says, “When using numbers, hyphenate spans or estimates of time, distance, or other quantities.”

  49. Patricia Lucas says:

    My question is do you treat an abbrevited year the same as you would as if it was written out?

    Her deposition was taken sometime in March ’06.

    Is there a comma between March and ’06? (March, ’06) I cannot add “of” after in as I’m transcribing part of a hearing so I cannot add or subtract any words. I have to work with what they say but I do add punctuation.

    • Jane says:

      Rule 5b in the “Commas” section of the English Rules on our website states, “If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma.” This would also apply to an abbreviated year. The Chicago Manual of Style does not recommend the use of the abbreviated year except in informal contexts.

      Her deposition was taken some time in March ’06. (informal)
      Her deposition was taken some time in March 2006.

  50. White Chocolate says:

    Is it grammatically correct to write 2012 as ’012?

    • Jane says:

      You may follow the guidance in Rule 10 of the “Writing Numbers” section on our website. In addition, The Chicago Manual of Style says, “In informal contexts, the first two digits of a particular year are often replaced by an apostrophe (not an opening single quotation mark).” Therefore, it is acceptable to write ’12 in an informal context.

  51. Kim says:

    When using a date to reference a report, is is always necessary to put a comma between the month and the year for example:

    Report of Dogs, December 2012
    or
    Report of Dogs, December, 2012

  52. Sandi says:

    Do you require a comma when writing the date with ‘st’ or ‘nd’?

    Please respond by April 21st 2012
    or
    Please respond by April 21st, 2012

    • Jane says:

      You may infer from our Rule 8 of Writing Numbers that you should not add the st when writing dates in that format. More specifically, The Chicago Manual of Style states, “When specific dates are expressed, cardinal numbers are used although these may be pronounced as ordinals. Therefore, when you write a specific date, do not add st or th.”

      Please respond by April 21, 2012. Alternatively, you may write: Please respond by the 21st of April, 2012.

  53. Judd says:

    How do you write 10:30 on an invitation? Is it:

    A) “Ten Thirty”

    or

    B) “Ten-Thirty”

  54. Richy says:

    Do you use a comma after a date when the year is not used? For example: You are invited to attend Parent Night on February 9, to learn more about North Carolina’s new high school program, Career and College Promise.

  55. Deborah says:

    I’ve noticed that you advise people that it is AP Style to write full hours like this: 3:00 p.m. Actually, that has never been AP Style. It is AP Style to use only the number for whole hours, i.e. 3 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. for the hour and exact minutes. Thanks. I’m a former AP journalist.

    • Jane says:

      Thank you for your clarification. The AP Stylebook does recommend using only the number for whole hours. It is The Chicago Manual of Style that recommends using zeros for even hours when exact times are emphasized, e.g., “The train leaves at 5:00 p.m.”

  56. Marie says:

    How do you write the following dates correctly on an invoice for dates work performed?
    1/1/12 – 1/17/12 or 1/1 – 1/17.
    also:
    1/1/12 & 1/2/12 or 1/1 & 1/2.

  57. MONICA TAUFIC ROSOLEM says:

    WHICH IS CORRECT: ONE AND A HALF YEAR OR ONE YEAR AND A HALF?

    • Jane says:

      Rule 4 of the Writing Numbers section of our website tells us that One and one-half years is preferred in formal writing, especially if starting a sentence. If not the beginning of a sentence, “I have worked at my job for 1 1/2 years” is acceptable.

  58. Ninal says:

    Writing Dates on Invitations?

    Saturday, May 1st
    7-10pm
    123 Main Street
    Washington, DC

    Kindly reply by April 20th

    is the above correct or do we delete the st and th?

    • Jane says:

      As shown in Rule 8 of “Writing Numbers,” the dates should be referred to as either May 1 and April 20, or as the 1st of May and the 20th of April.

  59. Andy says:

    Which is correct? Failure to appear AT the above date and time may result….
    or
    Failure to appear ON the above date and time may result….
    ON seems to work for the word “date” , but AT seems to work for the word time.

  60. Audrey says:

    Which is correct?
    9:00 o’clock a.m.
    or just 9:00 a.m.
    Aren’t they saying the same thing? One is more formal than the other?
    Is the first one redundant?

    • Jane says:

      Yes, the first one is redundant. Rule 13 in our “Writing Numbers” section states, ” Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized or when using a.m. or p.m.”

  61. Audrey says:

    If the spoken word is I got home at 6. What is the proper written terms?

    or I got home at 6 o’clock. What is the proper written terms?

    • Jane says:

      You could write I got home at six o’clock. However, if you want to clarify whether it is 6:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m., use numerals. I got home at 6:00 p.m.

  62. Mark says:

    Hello,

    When we hire an employee who has pre-scheduled vacations, we incorporate those dates into their offer letter. Could you please clarify the correct way to write the dates?

    Here is an example that was provided to me:

    “As we discussed, you are approved for time off with-out pay for the following dates for prescheduled vacations July 4, – 8, 2012, and August 15, – 17, 2012.”

    Thank you!

    • Jane says:

      You do not need to use an extra comma before the en dash. There should be a colon after the word vacations. Also, the word without is not hyphenated. Since this is a formal document, you may wish to use previously scheduled instead of prescheduled.
      As we discussed, you are approved for time off without pay for the following dates for previously scheduled vacations: July 4–8, 2012, and August 15–17, 2012.

  63. Lori says:

    Which of these two sentences is correct?
    June 30, 2012, is the date the paper is due.
    June 30, 2012 is the date the paper is due.

    • Jane says:

      Rule 5a of the “Commas” section of our website says, “Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year.” Therefore your first sentence is correct. However, I will suggest that a more direct sentence could be, “The paper is due June 30, 2012.”

  64. Sandra says:

    Is it ever correct to use the abbreviation “hrs” to indicate a time, for instance, on an agenda:
    “09.00 – 10.00 hrs – minutes of previous meeting”?

    • Jane says:

      If one is taking minutes for a meeting, the correct format for your example would be 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. There would be no reason to use the word hours unless you were speaking about a time frame such as “The meeting lasted two hours.” However, if you are in the military, you would express the time as 0900–1000 or 0900–1000 hrs. Adding the abbreviation hrs would be optional for clarity.

      • Phil says:

        Hi.

        When saying such a sentace … “At 19:51 on 24th September 2012″, should you or can you use the word hrs after the time?

        Somebody has peer reviewed a report that I have written and have made a suggestion for me to add this… although I think it is because he used to use it in the forces!

        Thanks
        Phil

        • Jane says:

          The Chicago Manual of Style says, “In the twenty-four-hour system of expressing time (used in Europe and in the military), four digits always appear, often with no punctuation between hours and minutes.

          1200 = noon
          2400 or 0000 = midnight
          0001 = 12:01 a.m.
          1438 = 2:38 p.m.
          At 1500 hours (or 1500h) we started off on our mission.
          General quarters sounded at 0415.”

          I interpret this to mean that use of the word hours is optional, however, you may want to consult a European style manual.

  65. Mike says:

    Hi,

    I asked the question above about time zones (11/4/11). Thanks for your answer! This is a follow-up.

    I subsequently decided to use the words “Pacific Time” in parentheses similarly to the way you use “PST” in your answer. (I dropped the “S” because my business hours vary between between PST and PDT along with everyone else’s.)

    Then I looked at the Chicago Manual of Style and discovered that while “Pacific” is treated as a proper name and capitalized, both “standard” and “time” are not. So it would be “Pacific standard time” and, for example, EST would be “eastern standard time.” One would presumably put these in parentheses.

    So I gather that one would write:

    We are open seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Pacific standard time).

    My question is whether this is correct? I have never noticed another case in which the Chicago Manual of Style seems to be so at odds with common usage. Even the American Heritage Dictionary entry for Eastern Standard Time has all three words capitalized and mentions that it is “also called Eastern Time.”

    Thanks!

    Mike

    • Jane says:

      AP Stylebook seems to agree with you. Their rule says, “Capitalize the full name of the time in force within a particular zone: Eastern Standard Time, Eastern Daylight Time, Central Standard Time, etc.” In the end it is up to you to decide which style manual to follow and then be consistent. It may be easier to stick with the abbreviation.

  66. Ed says:

    If you were to leave out the day (Saturday) in the following example, would you still need to include a comma after the year?

    The conference will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 1:00 P.M.

    The deadline to submit a proposal is February 4, 2012 at 1:00 P.M.

    • Jane says:

      Even though Rule 5b in the “Commas” section of our website says, “If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma,” the day of the week is not considered part of the actual date (month, day, year), therefore, you still need to include the comma.

      The deadline to submit a proposal is February 4, 2012, at 1:00 P.M.

  67. Hannah says:

    Hi,

    Just wondering which of these is correct;

    Join us on Monday the 17th of March…

    or

    Join us on Monday 17th March…

    Thanks.

    • Jane says:

      Since there is a natural tendency to pause slightly after the word Monday when your sentence is spoken, I recommend “Join us on Monday, the 17th of March.” However, since there is no hard and fast rule on this, “Join us on Monday the 17th of March” also is acceptable. Even better would be rephrasing the sentence to “Join us on Monday, March 17.”

  68. Garry says:

    In addressing the year for e.g. Year 2000 at the end of a sentence, “…the company was established in 2000″. Should it be “…established in the year 2000″? or just “in 2000″?

  69. Kylie says:

    How about the use of the word “the” in dates, specifically when spoken?

    I hear people say “March the 31st.”

    • Jane says:

      “March the 31st” is common and acceptable in spoken English. In the context of a written sentence, however, I recommend either “The meeting will be held on the 31st of March” or “The meeting will be held on March 31,” as per Rule 8 of Writing Numbers.

  70. Jason says:

    is it correct?

    An allegation that you abandoned your duties during a rostered shift at your place of work London on 7th April 2012.

    also what should be the order of following in a sentence

    at (place) on (date) at (time)

    • Jane says:

      Your example is not a complete sentence. Also, th is not used with a complete date.

      The sentence could be: There is an allegation (or, An allegation has been lodged) that you abandoned your duties during a rostered shift at your place of work in London on April 7, 2012. (In many locations outside the United States the date may be expressed as 7 April, 2012.)

      There are no particular rules regarding the order of place, date, time in a sentence other than what flows most logically.

  71. Ana says:

    If the rule states that dates should be 29th of June or June 29, why is that just about everyone, even in the media, writes June 29th and sometimes they even write it June 29th, 2012. Have the rules changed?

  72. Maureen says:

    I was always taught the correct way to write a date was: December 7, 1941. Not December 7th, 1941 or November 3rd, 2012.

    So why do people now add the “th” or “rd” after the day in the date?

    And also people who are not aware uh-uh is a word in the dictionary. As a person who was a court reporter with Los Angeles Superior Court for over 20 years and who now does scoping for court reporters, I constantly see uh-uh spelled as huh-uh or ungh-uh, which looks like the sound of some root-eating animal snorting.

    Perhaps all the people who grew up learning to read and write by spelling things as they sounded, which method has long fallen out of favor. And many people are just lazy and would rather die than look up a word in a dictionary or even to Google something to learn how a word is spelled.

    • Jane says:

      You are correct about the proper way to write the date. People are likely writing th and rd (along with nd, st) because they are not differentiating between spoken and proper written English. It would be nice if the availability of internet search engines as well as dictionaries on the internet resulted in better spelling by everyone.

  73. Glenn says:

    Please help! What is the correct way to write the following month/year when a specific date is not provided?
    Is it April, 2012 or April 2012?

  74. Rhonda says:

    In business writing, is it proper to reference the date of a report as, 1/12/09, or should it be spelled out?

  75. Mike says:

    Can’t believe I have a third question about time zones! And I can’t believe the length and complexity of this thread! Thanks so much, Jane!

    How would you write the following: Our week begins at 12:00 a.m. (Pacific Time) Monday and ends at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) Sunday. Weekly invoices must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday. Invoice amounts will be available by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) Wednesday each week.

    If you were writing this for people in different time zones, I wonder:
    1) Where would you put the parenthetical time zone references?
    2) Do I have to keep repeating “(Pacific Time)?”
    3) Where could I put “(Pacific Time)” to have the smallest number of repetitions?

    Thanks again!

  76. Mike says:

    P.S. If you can do something with the “weekly” and “each week,” that would be great too!

    • Jane says:

      The time zones are essential information, therefore I recommend not placing them in parentheses. You could repeat them or, alternatively, word it this way:
      All times referred to are Pacific Time. (Alternatively: All times referred to are Pacific Standard Time or Pacific Daylight Time, as appropriate.) Our week begins at 12:00 a.m. each Monday and ends at 11:59 p.m. each Sunday. Weekly invoices must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. each Monday. Invoice amounts will be available by 11:59 p.m. each Wednesday.

  77. Carol says:

    I am having a lot of confusion with comma’s in dates. Can you please properly punctuate the following:
    1. As of December 31, 2011 and 2010 the balance was zero.
    (do you use a comma after 2011 or 2010 or not at all?)
    2. As of December 31, 2011 or 2010 the District did not have any investments.
    3. As of December 31, 2011 and 2010 $0 of the funds balance was exposed to risk.

    Thank You

    • Jane says:

      Your sentences are confusing as written. Normally, as of is used in place of on, at, or from in relation to a single specific date, not several dates. Since you are dealing with financial matters, you would be better off rewriting the sentences such that there can be no confusion. Our rules 5a and 5b in the “Commas” section state, “Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year,” and “If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma,” respectively. Some potential revisions, depending on your exact meaning, could be:

      “The balance was zero on both December 31, 2010, and December 31, 2011.” Perhaps this could also be written as “The balance was zero on December 31 of both 2010 and 2011.”

      “The District did not have any investments on either December 31, 2010, or December 31, 2011.” OR “The District did not have any investments on December 31 of either 2010 or 2011.”

      “None of the fund’s balance was exposed to risk in 2010 or 2011.”

      • Carol says:

        Unfortunately, due to state regulations, we have to write them as stated and different towns have it written different ways so I was just trying to get some clarification, hence the reason for my confusion. Thank you for your input.

  78. Bill says:

    Here’s situation that I come across regularly. It may come up regarding a series of events spanning multiple months, for instance “March 4, 11, 18 and 25, and April 1, 8 and 15, 2012.”

    It looks somewhat odd with when it is something such as “March 18 and 25, and April 1.”

    Would that be the proper way to punctuate the dates?

    • Jane says:

      There is no one perfect way to do this; you have choices. Here are possibilities using our Rule 1 for Commas, Rule 4 for Semicolons, or just different wording.
      March 4, 11, 18, and 25; April 1, 8, and 15, 2012 OR
      Each Sunday from March 4 through April 15, 2012. OR
      Though cumbersome, grammatically correct: March 4, March 11, March 18, March 25, April 1, April 8, and April 15, 2012

      March 18, 25, and April 1 is probably fine since there are only three items in the series. OR
      Each Sunday, March 18 through April 1. OR
      March 18, March 25, and April 1

  79. Bill says:

    Oh, and I might add the construction: “March 31, April 7, 14 and 21.” Or should it be: “March 31 and April 7, 14 and 21″?

  80. Wayne says:

    Do you put a comma after the month in a sentence like this: …since the 2nd of September 2011.

  81. Manuel says:

    Hi,

    I need some help, please. Some examples (commas in time setences):

    a) “Three hours, five minutes, thirty-five seconds ago, I went…”
    b) “Comment posted 3 hours, 4 minutes, 35 seconds ago.”

    c) “That game lasted three hours, four minutes, (and) 35 seconds” or “That game lasted three hours five minutes 35 seconds” or “That game lasted 3 hours 5 minutes 35 seconds”

    d) “Remaining time to close: 3 hours, 4 minutes, 35 seconds”

    Are all this examples correct or acceptable?

    Thank you very much,

    Manuel

    • Jane says:

      AP Stylebook recommends spelling out time sequences and using commas. They do not address the use of and directly. Their one example of time sequences is “Spell out: 50 hours, 23 minutes, 14 seconds.” It is up to the writer as there is no rule against using and. It seems like and would be best used in examples a and c, which sound more like conversational sentences. Examples b and d sound like something that would be posted on a website rather than used in spoken English.

      Three hours, five minutes, and thirty-five seconds ago I went…
      Comment posted three hours, four minutes, thirty-five seconds ago.
      That game lasted three hours, four minutes, and thirty-five seconds.
      Remaining time to close: three hours, four minutes, thirty-five seconds

  82. Surojit Sen says:

    5 days a week;
    5 day a week;
    5 day week;
    which one is correct?

    • Jane says:

      You need to use a plural noun, therefore, 5 days a week is correct.

      • Cindy says:

        Or you could use five-day week. In both cases since the number is under ten, it needs to be spelled out.

        • Jane says:

          Your comments are valid. I had to provide a response without knowing the full context. I did not suggest five-day week (or 5-day week) as I assumed this phrase was part of a larger whole that would have been consistent with the first two phrases offered, such as “Joe goes to work five days a week.” Also, if there are no other mentions of days in this context, then the number should be written out as five. However, if this is followed by another phrase, such as “Joe goes to work 5 days a week, 260 days a year,” consistency would allow us to either write both numbers out or as numerals.

  83. DJ says:

    If the spoken word is “I work 9 to 5 or sometimes 2 to 10″. Which way should it be written?

    I work nine to five or sometimes two to ten? OR
    I work 9:00 to 5:00 or sometimes 2:00 to 10:00?

    I was always taught that 2:00 would imply that o’clock was spoken when the time was given. I don’t know which it should be.

    • Jane says:

      You are correct that “2:00″ would imply that o’clock is spoken. Times of day in even, half, and quarter hours are usually spelled out in text. I work nine to five or sometimes two to ten. Since it is a common expression, “9 to 5″ is often written in numerals.

  84. Susan says:

    I apologize if you have answered this question already. Is a comma required between a plural day of the week and the dates? Example: Sundays May 20 – June 17, 2012 Thank you.

    • Jane says:

      There is no particular rule covering this construction, but it is easier to read with a comma: Sundays, May 20–June 17, 2012. Note that most authorities recommend not using spaces before or after the en dash. However, your phrase might be more clear rewritten as:
      Sundays, from May 20 through June 17, 2012.

  85. Eddie Torbush says:

    My question concerns dates as written on formal invitations. Today is Friday, May 11, 2012. I understand the part about writing it in words as Friday, May eleventh. My question is why is the year written as two thousand and twelve? What is wrong with two thousand twelve? We are taught in math that adding the word “and” between numbers indicates a decimal.

    • Jane says:

      In British English, the year is pronounced two thousand and twelve rather than the American English form two thousand twelve. Americans often consider British English more formal, therefore you will often see British spellings appear in invitations, especially wedding invitations. It is up to the bride and groom to choose the exact wording they prefer.

  86. Joel says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to know if this was written correctly.

    “Per our conversion, I wanted to check the availability of these dates for vacation: Aug 20-23.”

    Thank you,
    Joel

    • Jane says:

      Abbreviations are not recommended in formal writing. Also, instead of a hyphen, use an en dash. An en dash, roughly the width of an n, is a little longer than a hyphen. It is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to. To form an en dash with most PCs, type the first number or word, then hold down the ALT key while typing 0150 on the numerical pad on the right side of your keyboard. Then type the second number or word.

      Per our conversion, I wanted to check the availability of these dates for vacation: August 20–23.

  87. Cindy says:

    We have all of these grammar rules for dates and times, and yet, on the top of each comment, there is incorrect comma usage. For example, the post before mine appears, “May 9, 2012 at 5:25 am.” It should appear with a comma between the year and word at. It would be correct to have “May 9, 2012, at 5:25 am.” Unfourtunately, this is probably a programming issue, but it really should be fixed. Since you are talking about grammar and punctuation, this basic punctuation rule being broke downgrades your credibility in my mind.

    • Jane says:

      We are employing a widely-used, commercially available blog software called WordPress. It functions admirably, but does contain the flaw you mention which we also do not like. We will mention it to them again; perhaps they will eventually correct it.

    • Eddie Torbush says:

      Cindy,

      “…rule being broke…” downgrades your credibility.

  88. Lori says:

    Hi Jane!
    Is this correct for a formal wedding invite?
    The wording:
    The honour of you presence is requested at the marriage of xxxxx.
    Friday the twenty-eighth day of September, two thousand twelve. Three Thirty in the afternoon.
    where xxxx

    Six O’clock Cocktails, location xxxxx
    Seven O’clock, dinner and dancing
    Black Tie Optional

    • Jane says:

      Wedding invitations are more of an art than an exercise in formal writing. If you will have the invitations professionally printed, they will have recommendations for you. If you are printing them yourself, you might want to search wedding websites. Decisions about whether you write numbers out or use numerals, whether you capitalize or use lowercase, etc. are mostly up to your own sense of esthetics.

  89. eitschpee says:

    Hi,
    is midnight 12:00 pm or 0:00 am
    is noon 12:00 am or 0:00 pm

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards,
    HP

    • Jane says:

      Rule 14 of Writing Numbers says, “Use noon and midnight rather than 12:00 P.M. and 12:00 A.M.”

      • eitschpee says:

        Rule 14 is understood, but if I have to define such a rule for a table with times, would I write 12:00 PM for noon and 12:00 AM for midnight? or would it be 0:00 PM for noon and O:00 AM for midnight. Thanks again for you answer.
        Kind regards, HP

        • Jane says:

          Digital clocks use 12:00 PM for noon and 12:00 AM for midnight. Since PM and AM stand for post meridiem and ante meridiem, Latin for after noon and before noon respectively, I advise writing noon and midnight or 12 noon and 12 midnight.

  90. Kat says:

    In spoken English, is it acceptable/correct to say “May 1″ (as per rules in writing dates) or should I be saying “May 1st?”

  91. Ruchi says:

    What is correct?

    Between May 24th ,2011 till July 10th, 2011

    or

    Between May 24th ,2011 to July 10th, 2011

    • Jane says:

      Rule 8 of Writing Numbers says, “The following examples apply when using dates:
      The meeting is scheduled for June 30.
      The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.
      We have had tricks played on us on April 1.
      The 1st of April puts some people on edge.”

      You could either write between May 24 and July 10, 2011 or between the 24th of May and the 10th of July, 2011.

  92. vee says:

    Hi Jane,
    How to write this wedding invitation (not in form of sentence)?

    Holy matrimony:
    Friday, October 12, 2012 at 02:00 pm
    Bethel Church
    Jl. Kemuning 42

    Which is correct way to write pm:
    PM
    P.M.
    pm
    p.m.

    And how about using the coma after year (before time)? Is it needed? Thanks for your help

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style recommends lowercase a.m. and p.m., though these sometimes appear in small capitals, with or without periods (i.e. 2:00 P.M.). In formal writing, a comma follows the year. However, wedding invitations sometimes have their own sets of rules and they are not always the same as formal writing.

  93. Jennifer says:

    In a short story, which would be correct?
    “The phone rang at 2:00 in the morning.” or “The phone rang at 2 in the morning.”

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jane says:

      Rule 12 of Writing Numbers says, “Normally, spell out the time of day in text even with half and quarter hours. With o’clock, the number is always spelled out.” Either of the following sentences are fine:

      The phone rang at two in the morning. OR The phone rang at two o’clock in the morning.

  94. David says:

    Hello,

    Please settle an argument between co-workers in the Security field. Would the following sentence be grammtically correct:

    “On Friday, June 15, 2012, I, Security Officer John Doe responded to the South parking garage for reports of a noise complaint.”

    • Jane says:

      You are missing one comma in your sentence. The phrase Security Officer John Doe is considered an appositive. The definition of an appositive is “a word or word group that defines or further identifies the noun or noun phrase preceding it.” The rule in our Commas with Appositives blog says, “When the noun preceding the appositive provides sufficient identification on its own, use commas around the appositive.” Also, if South Parking Garage is the actual name of the parking garage, it should be capitalized.

      On Friday, June 15, 2012, I, Security Officer John Doe, responded to the South Parking Garage for reports of a noise complaint.

  95. Christopher says:

    On a poster for the promotion of a concert, how would one correctly list the dates of the event for two consecutive Wednesdays?

    1. Wednesday, August 15 and 22
    2. Wednesdays, August 15 and 22

    • Jane says:

      I have no rules covering this nor have I been able to find any authoritative source covering this particular situation. If the option of “Wednesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 22″ take up too much space on the poster, I think you can use whatever sounds best to you.

  96. Graeme says:

    Hi,
    Is the word “at” required in the following example?;

    “What time are you breaking for lunch at?”

    It is frequently omitted during conversation but I’m unsure whether it is required in written form…

    • Jane says:

      The preposition at in this sentence is unnecessary in speaking as well as writing.

      “What time are you breaking for lunch?” is correct.

  97. Denis says:

    Do we have a specific word or phrase in English to express a period that is more than 10 years and less than 20 years?

  98. Ryan J. Ross says:

    When the time 5:07 PM is read, should we say five seven, five and seven, or five o seven?

    Certainly, seven after five or seven minutes after five could be said, but is the “o” correct? It sounds so awkward to read numbers and introduce a letter or word in the middle, despite common use.

  99. Jason says:

    Hello Jane,

    How do you write two consecutive days with same year?

    Example: When was John born? I think he was born on Jan. 1 or 2, 1984.

    • Jane says:

      Your sentence is correct, although in formal writing I recommend writing out the word January rather than using an abbreviation.

      I think he was born on January 1 or 2, 1984.

  100. Simon says:

    I was wondering how you phrase the sentence, when asking a question regarding working hours?

    Is it: ‘How many days a week do you work?’
    or ‘How many days do you work a week?’
    Then there is also ‘How many days do you work in a week?’

    Are they all correct?

  101. micky says:

    Some people may not know but when saying your birthday would you say, ” I’m having my birthday on Auguest 12,2008 or, ” I’m having my birthday on Auguest 12th 2008.

    • Jane says:

      As indicated in our blog Writing Dates and Times, the following examples apply when using dates:

      The meeting is scheduled for June 30.
      The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.
      We have had tricks played on us on April 1.
      The 1st of April puts some people on edge.

      Therefore, “I am having my birthday on August 12, 2008″ OR “I am having my birthday on the 12th of August, 2008″ are correct. Note that there is no e in August.

  102. Lissa says:

    Is this Correct?

    Saturday, August 4th at 6 o’clock

    Please advise… Thank you!

    • Jane says:

      As indicated in our blog Writing Dates and Times, the following examples apply when using dates:

      The meeting is scheduled for June 30.
      The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.
      We have had tricks played on us on April 1.
      The 1st of April puts some people on edge.

      The time should be spelled out in formal writing and the date is often spelled out, especially on invitations.

      Saturday, the fourth of August at six o’clock OR
      Saturday, August 4 at six o’clock

  103. Ashley says:

    How about for 24/7? How do I write it for formal language?

    • Jane says:

      You’re right, the phrase 24/7 is considered informal. There are probably numerous ways you could write it formally, e.g., “They are open all day every day,” or “They are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

  104. Lachlan says:

    How do you write the time. I have always wondered.

    I’ve noticed that there are two ways; but what one is correct?
    6.30 p.m. OR 6:30 p.m.

  105. mithu says:

    please let me know usage about “on time” & “in time”

    • Jane says:

      The definition of on time is “according to schedule.” The phrase in time means “early enough; before a deadline.” Examples:

      His flight from Miami was on time.
      She wants the meeting to start on time.
      We got to the game in time to see the first pitch.
      The paramedics arrived in time to save his life.

      In time also refers to the proper tempo in music and can also mean “eventually.” Examples:

      The band marched in time to the music.
      In time she grew to love her new home.

  106. Jimmy says:

    Help –

    I have recently joined a group of people in my job and we write three daily reports that are read by federal officials at very high levels.
    One person insists on writing the date and time like this: August 7th,at 7:08 AM.
    He goes as far as to include the comma if any of us remove it and we all know it is not required in this dated format.

    I want to use: August 7 at 7:08 AM. So far the Chicago Style of Manual and other resources do not insist on a preferred style, is there a resource I can use ti at least stop adding “th”?

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style does have a preferred style. Their rule (9.32) says, “When specific dates are expressed, cardinal numbers are used, although these may be pronounced as ordinals.” The cardinal August 7 is preferred in written form rather than the ordinal August 7th.

      In addition, Rule 8 of our “Commas” rules states:

      The following examples apply when using dates:

      The meeting is scheduled for June 30.
      The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.
      We have had tricks played on us on April 1.
      The 1st of April puts some people on edge.

  107. Kevin says:

    Which is correct?

    May 2012 or May, 2012

  108. Ellen says:

    Hi: I am sending invitations and cannot remember how to write dates and time.
    “The service starts at nine forty-five in the morning”
    “Saturday, the twenty-fourth of November”

    Are these correct?

    Thank you for your assistance.

    • Jane says:

      You have written the time and date correctly. As I’ve noted before, invitations sometimes have their own sets of rules and styles and are not always the same as formal writing. You have some creative leeway as to whether you write numbers out or use numerals and how you use punctuation in a formal invitation.

  109. Tonya says:

    Hello
    If someone states:

    Be back by 8 o’clock.

    does this mean we can arrive anytime before 8:01, even if it’s 30 seconds past 8 o’clock? If you want someone to arrive promptly before or at 8:00, should it read 8 o’clock sharp. This is for game instructions and specific time does matter.

    Thanks

    • Jane says:

      Rule 13 of Writing Numbers says, “Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized or when using A.M. or P.M.” Since exact time does matter, it should read “Be back no later than 8:00 (A.M. or P.M.) sharp.”

  110. Svend Pedersen says:

    In most European countries they have a very simple way to
    write dates and numbers. For example “5″ written like this
    is the fifth number and is always pronounced five.
    The number five followed by a dot “5.” means fifth and is always pronounced “fifth”. If you look up sports results on the web, say from Italy or a Scandinavian country you will see: 1. Lance Strongarm, pronounced “first”
    2. Reece Bjarne “second”
    3. Rasmus Chicken “Third”
    The same goes for dates, always 1. of November. Pronounced
    first of November. It sounded so stupid when the prime
    minister of an English speaking country announced: “The
    next election will be on one November”. I wonder how many
    hundred years it will take before English speaking countries will adapt to this simple way of writing dates.

    • Jane says:

      Thank you for this interesting piece of information. This is certainly not common knowledge within all English speaking countries and populations.

  111. Lisa says:

    Hi

    Do I write:

    On the 24th June, the CMC press conference took place.

    OR

    On June 24, the CMC press conference took place.

    OR

    The CMC press conference took place on the 24th June/ June 24

    This alwasy confuses me and I can never seem to get it right. Thank you for your help.

    Lisa

  112. Carlos says:

    Which of the following is correct or what is your suggestion:

    1. Please meet Carlos, Wednesday, September 12, 2012, at 6:15p.m.

    or

    2. Please meet Carlos on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, at 6:15p.m.

    There has been an office debate that the word “on” should be eliminated when writing sentences such as this one.

    • Jane says:

      The answer depends on where the sentence is going to be written. AP Stylebook, which is a guide for journalistic writing, says, “Do not use on before a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion, except at the beginning of a sentence: The meeting will be held Monday.” Newspapers tend to want to save space by omitting words whenever they can. For formal writing that is not in a newspaper, using on is perfectly acceptable.

      Please meet Carlos on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, at 6:15 p.m.

  113. Simeon Kolo says:

    The meeting starts at 12 noon
    The meeting starts by 12 noon

    Pls which of these is correct? Emphasis on ‘at’ and ‘by’. Thanks

    • Jane says:

      The word at indicates that the meeting will start at a precise time. By could mean any time before noon, but no later than noon. For the purpose of a meeting, an exact start time is recommended. Also, the rule in our Dates and Times blog says, “Use noon and midnight rather than 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 a.m.” Therefore, the number 12 in your sentence is unnecessary.

      The meeting starts at noon.

  114. Tina says:

    What would be the most correct way to write 1:00, one o’clock or One O’Clock?

  115. foivi says:

    Today in Athens,on Thursday, the twelfth (12) of May,the year two thousand and eleven (2011), and further context …
    is it correct or in my effort to sound formal i wrote it incorrectly?

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style says, “When specific dates are expressed, cardinal numbers are used, although these may be pronounced as ordinals.” Therefore, write Today in Athens on Thursday, May 12, 2011, Dates that are spelled out are more commonly used on formal invitations.

  116. Ivy says:

    Hi! I’d like to ask if writing four (4) month training is correct?

    • Jane says:

      The rule in our Hyphens with Numbers blog says, “When you’re combining two or more words to form a compound adjective in front of a noun, put hyphens between these words.” Example: I took a four-month training class.

  117. Kevin says:

    How would I change “two four-hour blocks” to “two 4-hour blocks” in the following?:

    The time frame for this action is not critical and the expected duration will be two four-hour blocks of time.

    • Kevin says:

      Sorry – I meant to say, “Should I change …” instead of “How would I change …”.

    • Jane says:

      Either two four-hour blocks of time or two 4-hour blocks of time are grammatically correct and, in the context of your sentence, neither should cause the reader any confusion. If you think there could be any misinterpretation, two 4-hour blocks of time may be clearer.

  118. Becky says:

    What is the correct way to type the following information ?

    Fri. Oct. 4: Ladies Luncheon

    • Jane says:

      There are several different ways to write the information.
      Examples:

      Friday, October 4 is the date for the Ladies Luncheon.
      The Ladies Luncheon will take place on Friday, October 4.

      Or, for a simple brief calendar listing:
      Fri., Oct. 4: Ladies Luncheon

  119. Becky says:

    What is the correct punctuation to be used to type the following in a calendar listing insert for a church bulletin?

    Sat. Oct 13: Fall Chicken BBQ
    Sat, Oct 13: Fall Chicken BBQ

    • Jane says:

      Calendar listings usually have limited space so they do not always follow the same guidelines as formal written sentences. The Associated Press Stylebook does say, “There’s no ironclad rule to cover all situations. In news story, time, date and place are fine in that order. In a calendar format, the date would likely be the first element.” They also go on to say, “The calendar date is usually sufficient. Including the day may be helpful in some instances.” The most important thing is to be consistent within your calendar. Abbreviations are acceptable but I recommend using standard punctuation as follows:

      Sat., Oct. 13: Fall Chicken BBQ OR
      Oct. 13: Fall Chicken BBQ

  120. April says:

    Hi. I was wondering what would be the correct (formal) way you would write a date if you are going to translate it to numerical numbers?

    Ex: February 7, 2008
    Would it be

    2-7-2008 or 7-2-2008

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style’s rule 9.36 states, “For practical reasons, all-numeral styles of writing dates (5/10/99, etc.) should not be used in formal writing (except with certain dates that may be known that way: e.g., 9/11, for September 11, 2001). Whereas in American usage the first numeral refers to the month and the second to the day, in the usage of other English-speaking countries and of most European languages it is the other way around. When quoting letters or other material dated, say, 5/10/03, a writer must first ascertain and then make it clear to readers whether May 10 or October 5 is meant (not to mention 1903 or 2003). In text, therefore, the full date should always be spelled out. In documentation and in tables, if numerous dates occur, months may be abbreviated, and the day-month-year form, requiring no punctuation, may be neater (e.g., 5 Oct 2003).”

  121. Stephanie says:

    When writing two consecutive date ranges in a table, is the dash prior to “to date” in the example below redundant?

    2007 – 2009, 2011 – to date

    Stylistically I would prefer to use the dashes, as they fit in better with the style of other portions of the table.

    • Jane says:

      As stated in our punctuation rules, “An en dash, roughly the width of an n, is a little longer than a hyphen. It is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to.” Using the en dash to indicate the word “to” and following it with “to date” is redundant.

      2007–2009, 2011–present or 2011–present date

  122. Marion says:

    I’m confused and hope you can clarify something for me. Our office produces a newsletter twice a year. In some places time is expressed as 8:00 a.m., in some places as 8:00 am, and still in other places as 8:00am. I’ve tried to explain to the person who produces it that it could be am, a.m., AM, or A.M., but there should always be a space between the time and the a.m. Also, I’ve told him one format should be used consistently throughout a document. Is this correct? I notice in all of your responses above there is a space between the time and the a.m., except in your response to Carlos on September 8, 2012.

    Please help!

    • Jane says:

      Your advice to the newsletter writer was correct on all points. The missing space on our response of September 8, 2012 was just a typographical error and has now been fixed.

  123. Liz says:

    Please help me settle an argument with my friend. We’re both not native speakers and can’t find the answer anywhere in our textbooks.
    She keeps saying x a.m. in the morning, and when I try to correct her (because shouldn’t it be either x in the morning or x a.m. ?), she tells me it’s correct. Is it?

    • Jane says:

      You are correct. Saying both a.m. and in the morning is redundant, which means you are using more words than necessary.

      Examples:
      7:00 a.m. OR 7:00 in the morning

  124. Kristina says:

    I have a question. Is this correct:

    Since August 21, 1943, at 2 a.m.;

  125. Mike says:

    Hi – what’s the best way to write the following example when you’re trying to communicate an outage that will span across multiple days at different times.
    For example:
    “As a result, access to email will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, November 3 until 11:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 4, 2012″
    Thanks!

    • Jane says:

      Your communication is correct as written with the addition of a period at the end of the sentence. Also, the words “access to” are probably not necessary.
      “As a result, email will be unavailable from 8:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, November 3 until 11:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 4, 2012.”

  126. Marianna says:

    Good morning~

    How do you properly write:

    5 to 10 minutes later

    I was taught that any number under 10, must be spelled out. It looks strange to write: five to 10 minutes later.

    Please advise.. Thank you!
    Marianna

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 1 of Numbers says, “Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine.” Rule 2 states, “Be consistent within a category. For example, if you choose numerals because one of the numbers is greater than nine, use numerals for all numbers in that category. If you choose to spell out numbers because one of the numbers is a single digit, spell out all numbers in that category.” Therefore, you may either write five to ten minutes later or 5 to 10 minutes later.

  127. Marianna says:

    Thank you for the answer above. I have another question. If you are writing an official letter, and you have a date format of February 12, 2013, what is the proper rule for not splitting the date onto two lines? For example, if your margin stops at “12,” should you continue the 2013 on the same line? Is it grammatically incorrect to split the date from the year? Should it be kept on the same line? I am unable to find anything in writing that says one way or another is correct. Please advise… thank you!

    Marianna

    • Jane says:

      There is nothing grammatically incorrect about splitting a date between two lines; it’s more of a visual concern. I would recommend not splitting the date at the end of a line.

  128. Jasen says:

    I’ve searched this page but no bones.

    When listing out an agenda, should it be:
    item one, 9:00am – 9:05am

    or

    item one, 9:00-9:05am

    • Jane says:

      Either of your methods (including or omitting the first “a.m.”) is acceptable. According to our section on Dashes, “An en dash, roughly the width of an n, is a little longer than a hyphen. It is used to signify up to and including (or through). Most authorities recommend using no spaces before or after an en dash.” There is always a space before a.m. or p.m. Chicago Manual of Style recommends the lowercase form, with periods.

      Either 9:00 a.m.–9:05 a.m. or 9:00–9:05 a.m. are correct.

  129. Neha says:

    Hi,

    If I write -
    The wedding has been planned on ,the 7th December 2012.

    Is it grammatically incorrect?

    • Jane says:

      I recommend using the word for instead of on.
      “The wedding has been planned for the 7th of December, 2012,” or, more directly, “The wedding is planned for December 7, 2012.”

  130. Jennifer says:

    I am stuck on a number expression for an address;
    How should the following sentence be written:
    “Jim lives at nine 21st Street and works on 6th Avenue”?

  131. Brendan says:

    Hi Jane,

    Can you you please help me with the correct way of writing out time.

    e.g. 5.41 p.m.

    Should it be:

    five-forty one p.m.

    or

    five forty-one p.m.

    Many thanks!

  132. Seth says:

    Hi!
    I have a quick question. I was wondering how to best express the following in an official business correspondence:

    Option 1: I met Chris on Tuesday afternoon, December 11,2012.

    Option 2: I met Chris on Tuesday, December 11,2012, in the afternoon.

    Option 3: Is there a more pithy and less clunky way of stating the above?

    Thank you so much for your help.
    Seth

    • Jane says:

      You could be more specific about the time and the sentence would sound a bit less awkward. Also, be sure to include a space between the comma following the day’s date and before the year. Examples:

      I met Chris at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2012.
      I met Chris on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at 1:00 p.m.

  133. Char says:

    Two quick questions,
    When you write a date in a sentence, do you place a comma after the year? (eg. Is it On January 13, 2012, I went to the store? or On January 13, 2012 I went to the store?)

    also, if you are referencing several dates, do you write that as January 13, 15, and 19 or January 13, January 15, and January 19?

    Many Thanks

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 5a in Commas says, “Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year.”

      On January 13, 2012, I went to the store.

      When referencing several dates I recommend writing January 13, 15, and 19.

  134. Janet says:

    Hi Jane,

    How to write sentences like below:

    on the 3rd and 4th days of December, 2012 (same month)

    on the 3rd day of November and 4th day of December, 2012 (same year)

    on the 3rd day of November, 2011 and 4th day of December, 2012 (diffrent year)

    Thank you

    • Jane says:

      As a general rule, do not add “st” or “th” to dates that include the year. I recommend rewording as follows:

      On December 3 and 4, 2012,
      On November 3 and December 4, 2012,
      On November 3, 2011, and December 4, 2012,

      • Janet says:

        Hi Jane,

        Thanks for your reply.

        Further question:

        On legal document, do I need to add “th” for the date? How to write those sentenses including the year?

        Thanks.

        • Jane says:

          Since I am not a legal expert, I recommend that you follow the advice of the Chicago Manual of Style and consult one of their recommended legal stylebooks. Their rule 14.281 states, “Citations in predominantly legal works generally follow one of two guides: (1) The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, published by the Harvard Law Review Association and available online (with a subscription); or (2) the ALWD Citation Manual: A Professional System of Citation, prepared and published by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and Darby Dickerson.”

  135. Carol says:

    If the day comes first followed by the month then the year, is there a comma after the month? 7 December 2012?

  136. somebody says:

    thanks i was trying to find it on about i-dont-how-many-sites before this and finally found the rule

    • Jane says:

      I am glad you found the rule you were looking for but I suggest rewriting your comment as follows to make it grammatically correct:

      Thanks. I don’t know how many sites I tried before this and finally found the rule.

  137. Tina says:

    Do I spell out thirty when talking minutes? Or use the numerals? I only talked with him for thirty/30 minutes.

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style says, “For units of time (or any other measure) in nontechnical text, we like to spell out numbers up to a hundred.”
      I only talked with him for thirty minutes.

  138. Sean says:

    Question on the correct usage of the following within a sentence:

    May of 2012,

    OR

    May, 2012,

    OR

    May 2012,

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 5b of Commas says, “If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma.” Example:
      We adopted our cat in May 2012 from Tree House Humane Society.

  139. Schoen says:

    ‘August 2013′ or ‘August of 2013′
    I prefer the first choice, but wanted to be able to defend that to the writer.

  140. Harsimran says:

    What is the correct way of writing day and year. Like we should write “I am 27 years old” or “I am 27 year old”.
    “It will take 4 days to complete this task” or “It will take 4 day to complete this task”. Somebody told me to use day instead of days, I just want to confirm.

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 1 of Numbers says, “Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine.” In the examples you gave, if the number is more than one, use the plural form years or days. If the number is one, use the singular form year or day. Note that if you are using the phrase year old as a compound adjective to describe a noun, use the singular form.
      Examples:

      I am 27 years old.
      Her son is one year old.
      She is a 27-year-old.
      We bought a 27-year-old house.

      It will take four days to complete this task.
      It will take one day to complete this task.

      • amy says:

        I’m confused as to the differences between the following two examples:
        1–For units of time (or any other measure) in nontechnical text, we like to spell out numbers up to a hundred. Example: “I only talked with him for thirty minutes.”
        2–Our Rule 1 of Numbers says, “Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine.”

        I am 27 years old.
        Her son is one year old.

        Why is it “27 years old” but “30 minutes”? What is the difference? Also, why does nontechnical not have a hyphen, i.e., non-technical?

        • Jane says:

          Authorities disagree on when to spell out numbers and when to use numerals. While the Chicago Manual of Style differentiates how to write numbers that are units of time or other measurement, our website generally follows the simple rule shown as “2″ in your question. The important thing is to be consistent.

          Regarding the word nontechnical, our Rule 1 of Hyphens with Prefixes states, “The current trend is to do away with unnecessary hyphens. Therefore, attach most prefixes and suffixes onto root words without a hyphen.”

  141. Dave C says:

    How should this sentence be punctuated:
    “For further information on application, call the Business Office at 555-541-3225 Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.”?

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 1 of Commas says, “To avoid confusion, use commas to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more.” Since it is not a proper noun, business office does not need to be capitalized. Also, the initial phrase seems stilted. I recommend rewording as follows:

      For further information on the application process, call the business office at 555-541-3225, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  142. Thomas77 says:

    Hi, quick and easy question.
    Which one is correct?
    “Between 6:00 am and 10:00 am PT” or
    “Between 6:00 and 10:00 am PT”.

    Or are both correct?

    Basically, do you have to repeat the “am” when both the beginning and ending of the time window end on the same day, with the same time period label?

    • Jane says:

      Either of your methods (including or omitting the first “a.m.”) is acceptable; however, I recommend including it for clarity. Also, The Chicago Manual of Style prefers the use of periods for a.m. and p.m. and parentheses for time zones.

      “between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. (PT)”

  143. Monique says:

    Hello,
    Is it proper to add a comma after the date if written in the following way? Which way is correct?

    March 4, at 4:30 p.m. (with comma)

    or,

    March 4 at 4:30 p.m. (no comma)

  144. sheea says:

    Hi jane!i have a problem with tenses. when asked about your favorite book or the last movie that you saw, what tense should I use. The interviewer said, that was my problem when I applied as a call center agent. thanks in advance.

    • Jane says:

      If you are speaking about a movie that you saw or a book that you read in the past, you should use the past tense. Examples:

      I saw a great movie last weekend.
      I read (pronounced red) a really interesting book last month.

  145. Betty says:

    If a dictator dictates 6/13 and really means June 13, how is this handled? I have always thought you type out June 13 but there are discrepancies in our office.

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 8 of Writing Numbers says, “The following examples apply when using dates:
      Examples:
      The meeting is scheduled for June 30.
      The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.
      We have had tricks played on us on April 1.
      The 1st of April puts some people on edge.”

      In addition, the Chicago Manual of Style’s Rule 9.36 states, “For practical reasons, all-numeral styles of writing dates (5/10/99, etc.) should not be used in formal writing (except with certain dates that may be known that way: e.g., 9/11, for September 11, 2001).” Therefore, in formal writing it should be written June 13.

  146. Gordon Madden says:

    Would you write “24 hours per day, 7 days per week” or “24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” I prefer the former, but the latter is seen all the time.

    • Jane says:

      The reason you see “24 hours a day, 7 days a week” is because it has become a common expression much like “24/7″ in informal English. In formal English, per is preferred.

  147. banu says:

    Hi thanks for your all clarifications.

    1)If someone ask me “what time is it?” Can I say “it is 9 pm ”
    2)If I want to write an assay, grammatically can I write ” it is 9 pm.”

    3)We use pm/am just for representing opens/ closes hours on the door, meeting period, something like that?

    Thanks alot.

    • Jane says:

      If someone asks you the time, you could simply say, “It is nine o’clock.” It would be unnecessary to specify a.m. or p.m., since it would be obvious. Our Rule 12 of Writing Numbers says, “Normally, spell out the time of day in text even with half and quarter hours. With o’clock, the number is always spelled out.” Rule 13 says, “Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized or when using a.m or p.m..” Therefore, if you are writing an essay you would either write “nine o’clock in the evening” or “9:00 p.m.” if the exact time of day is being emphasized. We use a.m. and p.m. when we need to give an exact time such as schedules, meeting times, invitations, and store hours.

  148. hanan says:

    is it correct to write “on Tuesday at 5am” or” at 5am on Tuesday”

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 13 of Writing Numbers states, “Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized or when using A.M. or P.M.
      Examples:
      Monib’s flight leaves at 6:22 A.M.
      Please arrive by 12:30 sharp.
      She had a 7:00 P.M. deadline.”

      Note that the time is written with a colon separating the hour and minutes. Also, there is a space after the time and A.M. or P.M., which may be written in capital letters or lowercase, with or without periods. Therefore, when writing specific times, either of the following is correct:
      “on Tuesday at 5:00 A.M.” OR
      “at 5:00 A.M. on Tuesday”

  149. Robyn says:

    Aloha Jane!

    Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge about the english language with all of us on your website.

    May I please ask for clarification about when it is okay to omit “a.m.” or “p.m.” when writing a time period?

    e.g. “The conference will be held from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.” In this case, would “a.m.” be implied and omitted, or should it always be included when writing a time period that spans from morning to afternoon or evening?

    e.g. “The meeting will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.” Similar to my first question, would the 1st “p.m.” be implied and therfore, can be omitted, or should time periods always include “a.m.” or “p.m.” for both start and end times, regardless of their implied time span?

    Mahalo!
    Robyn

    • Jane says:

      If the organizers of the conferences or meetings wish to emphasize starting and stopping at exact times, then I recommend numerals representing the full hours and minutes along with a.m. and p.m., especially if the events include noon or midnight. Also, the Chicago Manual of Style’s Rule 6.78 says, “The principal use of the en dash is to connect numbers and, less often, words. With continuing numbers—such as dates, times, and page numbers—it signifies up to and including (or through). For the sake of parallel construction, the word to, never the en dash, should be used if the word from precedes the first element in such a pair . . .”

      The conference will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
      The meeting will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. OR The meeting will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
      (If exact times are not emphasized, then “. . . from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is acceptable.)

  150. Paulette says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering how you would write a list of times. For example:

    01 AM
    02 AM
    03 AM
    04 AM
    05 AM
    06 AM
    07 AM
    08 AM
    09 AM
    10 AM
    11 AM
    Noon
    1 PM
    2 PM
    3 PM
    4 PM
    5 PM
    6 PM
    7 PM
    8 PM
    9 PM
    10 PM
    11 PM
    Midnight

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 13 of Writing Numbers states, “Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized or when using A.M. or P.M.”

      Therefore, write:
      1:00 AM
      2:00 AM…

      Noon
      1:00 PM…

  151. Nadine Franklyn says:

    Is this statement correct? Should on be used?:On Sunday April 19,2013 I attended the meeting.

    • Jane says:

      The word on is correct, however, our Rule 5a of Commas states, “Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year.” Also, there should be a comma following Sunday and a space before 2013. Therefore, write “On Sunday, April 19, 2013, I attended the meeting.”

  152. Sajda says:

    Hi!

    When writing a report – do I say “The 2012 year” or “They year 2012″

    Thank you

  153. Shone says:

    Hello,

    I would like to write the date when something happened. Can I say : “On 12.12.2012…” or how it is right to do it ?

    Thanks

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style’s Rule 9.36 says, “For practical reasons, all-numeral styles of writing dates (5/10/99, etc.) should not be used in formal writing (except with certain dates that may be known that way: e.g., 9/11, for September 11, 2001).” Also, our Rule 5a of Commas says, “Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year.” Therefore, an example sentence could be, “On December 12, 2012, I started working for a new company.”

  154. Luth says:

    can any one tell me which one is right.
    1. 7 day open
    2. 7 days open

    thank u/

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 1 of Writing Numbers states, “Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine.” You need to use the plural noun days with the number seven. Also, the word open should appear first in your phrase. Example:
      The store is open seven days per week. OR The store is open seven days a week.

  155. Paul says:

    Hello Jane,
    I am writing a dissertation and find in many academic papers the day before the month, ie: On 24 November 1525 Charles V arrived… Is that correct or shoud I revert in my paper back to: On November 24, 1525 Charles… etc.
    Thanks for your help and advice.
    Greetings,
    Paul

    • Jane says:

      The answer depends on where you live. The American style of dates is month-day-year with commas used to set off the year: “On November 24, 1525, Charles V arrived…” The European style is day-month-year with no commas needed: “On 24 November 1525 Charles V arrived…”

  156. Jacquie says:

    Is this correct or do I need to put a comma after the first date?
    Please see the attached summary as of March 30, 2012 and March 31, 2011.
    or
    Please see the attached summary as of March 30, 2012, and March 31, 2011.

  157. efi london says:

    Dear Jane,

    Could you please let me know which of the following is correct or sounds better in british english (and why)?

    I will be in London 15 and 16 August. OR
    I will be in London on 15 and 16 August.

    Thank you for your time,
    Efi

    • Jane says:

      In formal American English writing I recommend including the word on. I assume it would be the same in British English as it sounds better.

  158. Jeffy says:

    I need to write out a time between :01 and :09.

    For example:

    9:10 is nine ten
    9:45 is nine forty-five
    9:05 is ????

    Cheer
    Jeffy

  159. Joan says:

    Working on a list of dates and, for clarity purposes, it’s important to include the year. So, would it be July 20, 2012, July 23, 2012, and July 29, 2012, OR July 20, 2012; July 23, 2012; and July 29, 2012.

    Thanks!

    • Jane says:

      Our Rule 4 of Semicolons says, “Use the semicolon to separate units of a series when one or more of the units contain commas.” Therefore, write July 20, 2012; July 23, 2012; and July 29, 2012.

  160. Juan Miguel says:

    Dear Jane,

    Is one of the following more acceptable/correct than the other:

    From June of 2009 to April of 2013…

    From June 2009 to April 2013…

    The context is a formal letter.

    Thank you for your time.

    Juan Miguel

  161. Olive says:

    What is the correct way of writing the following?
    “We set sail at 0930 hours and headed East.” or “We set sail at 0930HRS and headed East.” or “We set sail at 0930hrs and headed East.” or “We set sail at 0930 hrs. and headed East.” or “We set sail at 0930 HRS and headed East.”

    Thank you

  162. Łukasz says:

    Dear Jane,

    Could you please help me with formulating an Out-of-Office-Email-Reply in the context of British English. My mother tongue isn’t an article-language so I have got several problems according to the correct using of articles.

    In (the) time from 22nd to 31st July I don’t have the possibility to check out the contents of my email box.

    or

    (During the period)Between (the) 22(nd) and (the) 31(st) July…

    I hope hearing from you soon
    Łukasz

  163. Andrew George says:

    Hello, what is the correct way of writing the following?:

    Please note that any delay in receiving your approval may delay your order. If approval is not received by 00:00 p.m., 00-00-2013, your order will be delayed by one (1) working day, which could result in rush charges and/or late delivery. Thank You.

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style (9.36) says, “For practical reasons, all-numeral styles of writing dates (5/10/99, etc.) should not be used in formal writing (except with certain dates that may be known that way: e.g., 9/11, for September 11, 2001).” Also, there is little risk that one is going to be misinterpreted, and the use of and/or is not a good idea in formal writing (nor are you likely to impose rush charges and then make a late delivery). I advise:

      Please note that any delay in receiving your approval may delay your order. If approval is not received by 8:00 p.m., August 15, 2013, your order will be delayed by one working day, which could result in rush charges or late delivery.

  164. Craig says:

    In the interest of communication for international audiences, what do you think of using the ISO 8601 International Date Standard, extended format, for representing dates and time?

    Today’s date is 2013-08-01. The time is 14:35 EST.

    • Jane says:

      Although this format does have some advantages, I prefer spelling the date out in formal writing. Also, there are still many people who are unfamiliar with the 24-hour clock system.

  165. Thinlay Dorjee says:

    Hi Jane,
    Since you have been answering all the questions, here I need to ask something which confuses me a lot.

    You said it is seven days a week, not seven day a week,
    then is it correct to write 100 days of vacation, four glasses of water, 12 rows from the back? etc.

    because in some cases it says it is incorrect to write ten millions, it should be ten million, so here am bit confuse about this singular n plural things

    please explain

    • Jane says:

      Seven days a week, 100 days of vacation, four glasses of water, and 12 rows from the back are all correct. Like seven, 100, four, and 12, ten million is simply a number. Whatever units this number is describing would be plural:
      ten million dollars, people, acres, etc.

  166. Stephanie J. says:

    I have noticed more and more of the population typing the date as August 14th. Is this correct? I was taught in college that when the day precedes the month, it should be written as 14th of August.

  167. Lisa says:

    In my department we have a secretary who, in the writing of a meeting agenda, will put dates like this:

    The boss will be on vacation 9/1-10/13.

    She means to say that the boss will be on vacation from Sep. 1-10, 2013, but it looks like he’ll be gone from Sep. 1 until Oct. 13. I’ve tried to tell her that her style leads to confusion, but she insists that hers is the “correct style” for writing dates.

    Since this is a small department, we are not bound by any particular style in the writing of agendas or minutes. I maintain that she ought to write it in a way that is not confusing, but she insists that she is doing it the proper way.

    I’m the editor in the department, and I know that CMOS says to write out the dates, but she has an accounting background and is used to a different style. Since this isn’t a published piece, I don’t have authority over her to tell her to do it differently.

    My question is, is she right? Is such a confusing style correct in some other style manual that I’m unfamiliar with?

    • Jane says:

      You are correct that the Chicago Manual of Style recommends writing out dates in formal writing. Even if a date range is written with numerals and an en dash, the dates are confusing when written in the manner that you described. I am not aware of any style manual that recommends writing a date range in that format.

  168. Kamran says:

    Hi Jane,
    Whew! You must have some nerves answering so many Q’s!!!
    I have a question too. Is it correct to write Thursday, 29th of August, 2013?

  169. Susan P says:

    Dear Jane,
    Can you help?

    “…since we introduced the mid-90s reading teacher newsletter depicted elsewhere…”

    I am thinking you will say it should be mid-’90s, but the further question is whether the term is being used as an adejctive or a possessive, and whether it needs an apostrophe after the s (mid-’90s’)
    Thank you

    • Jane says:

      The term mid-’90s is not used as a possessive, but rather an adjective that is part of the description of the newsletter, so there is no apostrophe needed before or after the s. For clarification, you may also want to reword to mid-1990s.

  170. Mike Reddy says:

    So, I’ve recently had a report returned for a grammatical error. I believe that I’m right but would love some advice. Would you write:

    Mr. Stone stated that he was on the second floor NEAR 0145 hours.

    -or-

    Mr. Stone stated that he was on the second floor AROUND 0145 hours.

    I know that the notation of time is a bit different but due to my line of work, they like it better in a 24 hour format. I’m only inquiring about the comparison of NEAR versus AROUND.

    Thank you.

    • Jane says:

      In American English, using regular time notation, I would write Mr. Stone stated that he was on the second floor around 1:45 A.M. or Mr. Stone stated that he was on the second floor close to 1:45 A.M. I assume the same would be true using a 24-hour format.

  171. Nath says:

    Can I say “october the ninth”, “nomvember the fifth”?

    • Jane says:

      The following examples are correct when using dates:

      the 9th of October
      the 5th of November
      October 9
      November 5
      Note: Oct. 9 and Nov. 5 are recommended by the Associated Press.

  172. NKC says:

    Suppose in a week tuesday is holiday. I’m writing this like “Wed. to Sun.- Open” and “Tuesday – Holiday”.
    Is this form of writing is correct?

    • Jane says:

      Writing in a shortened form such as this might be acceptable for a sign on a door, however, the wording is informal and may confuse your customers. You could write the following:

      We are closed Tuesday for the holiday, but we are open Wednesday through Sunday.

  173. Krikit says:

    Hi Jane!

    We’re having a debate in our office about how to write year date order.

    Is it: #1 Sales Associate of the year 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2008.

    Or: #1 Sales Associate of the year 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Jane says:

      It seems to make more sense to list the dates in chronological order. Since it is not used as part of a name, the term “sales associate” should not be capitalized unless “Number One Sales Associate of the Year” is the formal title of an award given by your company. Writing “#1″ is considered informal.

      number one sales associate of the year 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012 OR
      Number One Sales Associate of the Year 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012

  174. Arina says:

    Dear Jane,
    I was going through the answers you gave to the thousands of questions posted above and to tell the truth I’ve learned a lot.
    Could you please guide me if these sentences are right or not…

    The meeting was held on 19th of August 2013 from 13:00 to 14:19.
    The meeting was held on 19th August 2013 from 13:00 to 14:19.
    Thanks beforehand!

    • Jane says:

      We do not recommend adding -st or -th to dates that include the year. Also, the twenty-four-hour system of expressing time does not usually use any punctuation.

      The meeting was held on August 19, 2013, from 1300 to 1419. (American English)
      The meeting was held on 19 August 2013 from 1300 to 1419. (British English)

  175. Cheryl says:

    Can I just say thank you for this. It’s driving me crazy to see dates like October 1st and October 1st, 2013 everywhere (especially the latter). I see it on billboards, professional documents, public signage, etc. You would think these “writers” know better, but obviously not. What aren’t they teaching in college?

    • Jane says:

      We’re glad you appreciate our website. Proper grammar is not always a priority in today’s world. However, although we do not recommend writing “October 1st, 2013,” calling it “wrong” would be an overreaction.

  176. Preeta says:

    Hi Jane,

    I am having a bit of a trouble with writing the date on an invitation. Is it okay to write on Saturday, the 10th December,2013? Or should it be on Saturday, the 10th of December,2013?

    Thanks a ton for helping!

    • Jane says:

      In your example, you would write “the 10th of December.” Also, there should be a space before the year. As we have written before, invitations have their own sets of rules and styles and are not always the same as formal writing. Whether to use punctuation or not is up to you.

      Saturday, the 10th of December, 2013

  177. Shunda says:

    how would you write:
    April 13-Sept 28 Saturdays 8am-12pm
    Oct 5–Nov 23 Saturdays 9am-1pm

    thanks in advance

    • Jane says:

      You don’t indicate the purpose of the dates, but your shortened version might be used for a sign or poster.

      Some prefer to use an en dash, which is a little longer than a hyphen. It is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to.

      There should be periods after the abbreviations of the months, and we recommend a space before am and pm.

      For clarity, we advise using noon rather than 12 pm.

      Also, some would place commas after the date and day.

      April 13–Sept. 28, Saturdays, 8 am–noon
      Oct. 5–Nov. 23, Saturdays, 9 am–1 pm

      In formal prose you could write the following:

      The class will take place April 13 through September 28 on Saturdays from 8:00 am to noon.
      The store is open October 5 through November 23 on Saturdays from 8:00 am to noon.

  178. willie says:

    Hello Jane,
    Are the following correct:
    1) I am arriving home towards the early part of the week of the 18th of July.

    2) I am arriving home towards the week of the 18th of July.
    How would you say it?
    Thank You

  179. JF says:

    If I have-
    Goal: 100 feet front crawl
    And then later in the same area have “six pours” but then use 3 minutes, this doesn’t seem consistent.
    Should all these number be written out?

    • Jane says:

      Deciding whether to write numbers as numerals or as number words is a matter of style. We recommend using a consistent style throughout your writing.

  180. Vicki Crabtree says:

    I have a question to ask. Is there a rule anywhere that shows a.m. or p.m. typed like below:

    10am or 9pm

    Typed without spaces between the figure and the abbreviation?

    I have never seen it. Someone told me you could type it that way. I said: show me.

    • Jane says:

      The practice of writing the time of day without a space between the hour and am or pm is somewhat unusual, but some writers do use it. We recommend a space.

  181. Faedzal says:

    Hi,

    Is it correct to write “8th to 10th November 2013″ for an event date?

    • Jane says:

      In American English, you could write something like “The fair will take place from the 8th to the 10th of November, 2013″ OR “The fair will take place November 8-10, 2013.”

  182. Shayne Davies says:

    Can I say “8:30 o’clock pm”, or does “o’clock” just apply to times on the hour (8 o’clock, 9 o’clock etc)?

  183. Lisa Mason-Adkins says:

    What is the correct format for:

    November 8th – 11th, 2013. Should the ordinal be left out? Also, what if the year isn’t there? Is November 8th – 11th correct?

    • Jane says:

      We do not recommend adding “st” or “th” to dates, whether they include the year or not. Also, do not ever use an em dash for periods of time when you might otherwise use to. You may use an en dash or a hyphen, but whichever you choose, do not put spaces on either side. See the following examples:

      November 8-11, 2013
      November 8–11

  184. Jackie says:

    When spanning dates do you use a comma after the year of the first date? In example, would it be:

    “…job search for the period October 25, 2013 through November 2, 2013,”
    or
    “…job search for the period October 25, 2013, through November 2, 2013.”

    It feels like the putting the comma after the year of the first date breaks of the time period instead of spanning the time.

    Please help! This is driving me nuts.

  185. Does says:

    Is writing this date correct?
    “The competition will be held on the 21st of April 2013.”

  186. Kevin says:

    Hi Jane

    The fair will take place from 8:30 a.m. on Friday, November 8 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 9.

    Does this sound right?
    Thanks

    • Jane says:

      Unless the fair is open all night, it might be better to give the exact hours. If the hours are the same both days, you could write “The fair will take place on Friday, November 8, and Saturday, November 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.”

  187. Kurapica says:

    Hi Jane,

    I’ve got a question. Which of the following is correct?

    1. “The document is correct as of 3pm”
    2. “The document is correct as at 3pm”

    I’ve noticed most of my colleagues actually using sentence 2 but I would normally use sentence 1. Had been wondering if I’ve got it wrong all these while?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jane says:

      The grammatically correct term in English is “as of.” The practice of writing the time of day without a space between the hour and am or pm is somewhat unusual, but some writers do use it. We recommend a space as follows:

      “The document is correct as of 3 pm.”

  188. Jamie says:

    I’m trying to type an invitation for a baby shower.

    Is way I have the date and time typed out below correct?

    Sunday, January 5th.,2014 at 2:30 PM
    OR
    Sunday, January 5th. 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Thank you,

    • Jane says:

      Invitations have their own sets of rules and styles and are not always the same as formal writing. Whether to use punctuation or not is up to you. In formal prose we recommend writing “Sunday, January 5, 2014, at 2:30 P.M.” OR “Sunday, the 5th of January, 2014, at 2:30 P.M.”

  189. Marian Grady says:

    How do you write date with the actual number:
    eg, …will graduate June 2014….
    or …will graduate June, 2014….
    Which is correct?

  190. does says:

    Which one is correct:
    a. My birthday is on August 9, or
    b. My birthday is on August 9, 1963?
    Thanks.

  191. Fernando says:

    Hi Jane.

    Firstly to say thanks for this great page and replies.

    Secondly, excuse my grammar, it’s terrible! — I’m from Spain.

    Last, what does it means the date on the top image [...]—February 25, 2011? Are you OK?

    If any mistake, please correct me. Saludos.

    • Jane says:

      As the About Jane page on our website explains, Jane passed away in 2011. Jane’s husband, Lester Kaufman, and his staff continue to answer the questions although it still reads “Jane says” as a matter of respect for Jane’s legacy.

      Your grammar is not terrible at all. It is not easy to learn English. To be grammatically correct, your first sentence could be written “First, I would like to thank you for this great page and replies.” Also, the usual phrase is “what does it mean” without an s. That sentence could be written “Finally, what does the February 25, 2011, date mean in the top image? In addition, your last sentence could be written “If there are any mistakes, please correct me.”

  192. cris says:

    hi is this grammatically correct?

    Issued this 4th day of December, 2013.

  193. Birgit says:

    Back when I started learning English (as a foreign language in German high school in the 1980s), we were taught to use the following date format at the top of test, homework etc.:

    Jan. 23rd, 1985
    May 14th, 1986
    Nov. 15th, 2013

    Now my daughter has been learning English (also as a foreign language in German high school) and her teacher insists that it’s incorrect to abbreviate the names of the “long” months.

    Could you please tell me it the above date formats are correct.
    Thank you so much.

    • Jane says:

      We do not recommend using ordinal endings (st, nd, rd, or th) for dates. Also, abbreviations should be avoided in formal writing.

      January 23, 1985
      May 14, 1986
      November 15, 2013

  194. Alan says:

    At 9 minutes and 10 seconds past 8 am on the 11th of December 2013, possibly be written as 08;09;10;11;12;13 in USA this would have to be 9 minutes and 10 seconds past 8 am on the 12th of November 2013 to be the same

    • Jane says:

      We think you are referring to what is known as a sequential day. The last sequential day with the numbers one through ten fell on August 9, 2010, at 12:34:56.7 pm (or on September 8, 2010, if the date format is read DD/MM/YY).

  195. Andy says:

    Hi,

    I’m confused, which is more appropriate, between 8 and 5, or between 8 to 5? Can you please explain?

  196. Peggy says:

    I am wondering if you are writing a letter to someone in a book, how do you punctuate it?

  197. Khun Kru Mark says:

    Too much time spent teaching a ‘correct’ way of writing dates and times when in actual fact ANY WAY YOU CHOOSE is (almost) always universally understood. There are times when knowing the correct grammar and usage of English is correct, useful and appropriate. This isn’t one of them. I have more problems with the sell by dates on food products when I don’t know if they have put the month or the date first.

    • Jane says:

      The Writing Dates and Times blog currently has 420 comments—more comments than any of our other blogs. It seems to us that there are a lot of readers (including you, with your sell-by-date perplexity) who recognize the practicality of a “universally understood” way of writing dates and times.

  198. Marcia Rousell says:

    How should the date Oma wedding program be written? The Program and wedding are formal. We can’t seem to agree on what is correct the date will be listed on the cover of the program .
    The Wedding is Saturday, February 8,2014 please help this is holding us up from going to print !!

    • Jane says:

      As we responded to Lori on May 26, 2012: “Wedding invitations are more of an art than an exercise in formal writing. If you will have the invitations professionally printed, they will have recommendations for you. If you are printing them yourself, you might want to search wedding websites. Decisions about whether you write numbers out or use numerals, whether you capitalize or use lowercase, etc. are mostly up to your own sense of esthetics.”

  199. Marcia Rousell says:

    Thanks , I was asking about the wedding program not the invitation . I will follow same format I used on the professionally printed invitation.

  200. Iris says:

    Can you please clear one thing for me? Is the name of the month alone (March, for a example) considered to be a date?
    I’m confused by my son’s homework. He was asked to circle each date that is written correctly and he circled only ‘complete’ dates like July 4,2011. There were couple ‘just month’ dates like Saturday and March which we assumed could not be dates since it’s only names of the months. But our teacher thinks otherwise..

    • Iris says:

      Sorry, I messed up a little..Can be a name of the month (like March) OR a name of the week (like Saturday) alone considered to be dates?

      • Jane says:

        We agree with you that typically a month or day of the week is not specific enough to be considered a date. A date is usually written as a particular month and day or month, day, and year at which some event happened or will happen.

  201. Phoneutria says:

    Hi,
    We are using English for communication in our company.
    In our country we have 24H time.
    What is grammatically right when using 24H time?
    Is it right to write -
    ..at 15.00
    ..at 15.00 o’clock
    ..scheduled at 15.00 (o’clock)
    ..scheduled for June 30, at 15.00 (o’clock)

    • Jane says:

      Either “at 1500″ or “at 1500 hours” is grammatically correct. We recommend that no decimal point be used, and there should be no comma after “June 30.”

  202. Sandra says:

    What is the proper spacing and format when listing the duration, in hours for classes within a table? For example,

    Course Hours Price
    HTML 42 h $85

    Thank you,
    Sandra

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style says, “It is wise to consult the publisher on the appropriate number, size, and physical form of any tables to be included in a work. A table should be as simple as the material allows and understandable on its own; even a reader unfamiliar with the material presented should be able to make general sense of a table.” There does not seem to be a rule specific to spacing for tables.

      Thus, regarding the class duration itself, the format is up to your organization: 42 h, 42h, 42 hours, etc.

  203. Ishan says:

    how do we wright date in British style? and whether suffix are written in superscript of in regular? which is accepted style and linguistically correct?

    Thanks in advance…

    • Jane says:

      There are several different ways to write the date in British English. They vary from formal to informal. Which format to use is a question of formality, politeness, and personal choice. For more information we recommend that you consult a style manual that specializes in British English.
      Examples:

      the fifteenth of February 2014
      15 February 2014
      15/02/2014

  204. fliteshare says:

    ISO 8601 prescribes: YYYY-MM-DD.

    End of discussion.

    • Jane says:

      ISO standards are voluntary. It is a non-governmental organization and it has no power to enforce the implementation of the standards it develops. Although this format does have some advantages, we prefer spelling the date out in formal writing.

  205. Lily says:

    Would it be correct to say: “You will receive the package on February the 21st?” Thank you!

  206. Eberhard says:

    Is it true that you shouldn’t write February 19th but only
    February 19? The British can use both “19 February” and “19th February”.

    • Jane says:

      The Chicago Manual of Style’s rule 9.32 states, “When specific dates are expressed, cardinal numbers are used, although these may be pronounced as ordinals.

      May 26, 2008, was a sad day for film buffs.

      When a day is mentioned without the month or year, the number is usually spelled out in ordinal form.
      On November 5, McManus declared victory. By the twenty-fifth, most of his supporters had deserted him.”

      Other style guides say that it is also acceptable to write “the 19th of February” or “the 19th of February, 2014.” Writing “February 19th” or “February 19th, 2014,” is not recommended.

      • Eberhard says:

        I talked with some colleagues that are from the UK. And I know their writing style generally is very good. One of these colleagues’ spouse is even an English teacher. All of them claim they have never heard about such a rule.

        As a native German speaker I can only tell what others say or write.

        So I guess this your style recommendation is for American English only, not valid for British English.

        Anyway, many thanks.

  207. Julie says:

    Would you please clarify the following.
    A coworker of my completed a proofreading and editing class and was instructed the use of the entire date should be used. For example, used in the current year, I drafted a sentence stating, “We recently launched the website on February 1st.” Or, could it be “February 1?” She insists it must be February 1, 2014.

    • In formal writing it is usually a good idea to include the year. It often depends on the kind of document you are writing. If you are writing a letter or an e-mail, you could omit the year, especially since you used the word “recently.” For any kind of publication or website, the year should be included. We recommend writing “We recently launched the website on February 1, 2014.” It is also acceptable to write “We recently launched the website on the 1st of February, 2014.” Writing the ordinal “February 1st, 2014,” is not recommended.

  208. Susanne says:

    Regarding range: I know about from…to and between…and. But what about during? Is it correct to write “during March-April” or should it be “during March through April”? Thanks a lot!

  209. Mary says:

    Is this “On Monday, March 3, we will ……”? Thank you.

  210. Jan says:

    I am a bit confused. You wrote in your previous responses that :The conference will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 1:00 P.M. is correct but what about: The conference will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, February 4, 2012.

    Thank you in advance Jane

  211. Ann D. says:

    Hello –
    I have a question on how to write a time when writing fiction.

    Is the sentence below correct?

    Our meeting is scheduled for seven A.M.

    Thank you,
    Ann

  212. Rebecca says:

    When printing the date of an upcoming event, is it correct to write (ie) April 12th. I have been told not to add the th or rd for say 3rd.
    Also, when printing A.M. or P.M. should they always be uppercase, lower case, or separated by a period.
    Thank you for your reply.

    • Regarding dates, please see our recent reply to Eberhard in this blog of February 20, 2014. As the blog above states, “You may use AM and PM, A.M. and P.M., am and pm, or a.m. and p.m.

  213. needhelp says:

    is it correct?
    The meeting is next Monday of this month.
    is it correct to say “of this month?”
    Thanks for help.

    • Although it is grammatically correct, the sentence is awkward. The words “next” and “of this month” could be omitted if you clearly state the date of the meeting.
      Example: The meeting is Monday, April 7.

  214. Iryna says:

    Good morning.

    Is it correct to write like this if asking for vacation?

    “Please be informed that I will be on vacation from May 5 to May 8 and on May 12, 2014.

    Please let me know if you have concerns.”

  215. olyaver says:

    Please advise what is the correct preposition here?

    – This happaned at (or on?) 15/03/2014 15:00:00.

    The date + time format must be kept and cannot be reverted.
    Thanks in advance!

  216. Curious says:

    How do you combine time, days of the week, and date together in a sentence? Why do we write a location after time not before? Example: We meet on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 9 am at Chaparrel Park. (one specific time)
    We meet every Friday at 12 pm on campus at room 310. (a regular activity)
    We leave Josephine’s home on Wednesdays at 3pm to pick up our son from school.
    or
    We leave Josephine’s home at 3pm on Wednesdays to pick up our son from school.

    • There is no rule stating that you must write the location after the time. Use a comma after the year. If your first example is meant to indicate a future meeting, we recommend “will meet.” In your second example, we advise using “noon” rather than “12 pm.” Also, we prefer using the preposition in. There are different ways to write your sentences. Your final pair of sentences are fine.

      We will meet on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at 9 am at Chaparrel Park. OR
      We will meet at Chaparrel Park on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at 9 am.

      We meet every Friday at noon on campus in room 310. OR
      We meet on campus in room 310, every Friday at noon.

  217. Stan says:

    Hello, I need to know how to write time periods. For example, period 1/2/14-1/10/14 I can write 1/2-10/14. How to write periods 2/2/13-3/2/13 (different months and 12/20/13-1/10/14 (different years? Thank you very much.

    • There are no further shortcuts for your examples since the dates are so specific. You have written them correctly in all-numeral style. However, this method looks needlessly confusing and awkward, and writing out the dates would be a courtesy to the reader.

  218. Pia-on says:

    Hello, I have a question on how to write a request for appointment which include 3 alternative date and time in a formal letter.

    Is it correct to write ” .. on 21th April, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. ; 22th April, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. ; 23th April, 2014 at 1:00 P.M.”

    Thank in advance,
    Piaon.

    • In American English, writing ordinal endings such as th, st, nd, and rd in this context is unnecessary. The periods with AM and PM are optional. Also, use a comma after the year. We recommend writing “…on April 21, 2014, at 10:00 AM; April 22, 2014, at 11:00 AM; April 23, 2014, at 1:00 PM.”

  219. final edits says:

    Please tell me if this is correct punctuation for a sentence in my novel.

    ” … the details of January 19th will never leave my mind.”

    • final edits says:

      Also:

      “To understand what happened on January 19th, you’d … “

      • In American English, writing ordinal endings such as th is considered by some to be unnecessary. Some style guides say that writing “the 19th of January” is acceptable. Therefore, we recommend:

        “… the details of January 19 will never leave my mind.”
        “To understand what happened on January 19, you’d …” OR

        “… the details of the 19th of January will never leave my mind.”
        “To understand what happened on the 19th of January, you’d …”

  220. Adam says:

    What would be the proper structure of this item? There is debate that the period should stay and some say it should go.

    Sat., May 3
    Sat, May 3

    Thanks!
    Adam

    • The Chicago Manual of Style recommends that the periods stay in formal prose. However, the AP Stylebook says, “Do not abbreviate, except when needed in a tabular format: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat (three letters, without periods, to facilitate tabular composition).” Take your pick.

  221. Vesna says:

    Is it correct if I write a date in this way:
    5 January 2014

    Thanks a lot.

  222. LAN says:

    Hi Jane! Is a comma required between the date and time of an event that does not include the year? Example: Friday, May 23rd at 8 p.m. OR Friday, May 23rd, at 8 p.m. (personally, I dislike the addition of the ‘rd,’ ‘th,’ and ‘st’ in dates, but my company insists on doing it this way.) Thanks!

  223. Ando Macalinao says:

    Is it correct to say “The meeting was held ‘on’ August 1-12″? Or “The meeting was held “from August 1 to August 12″?

    • It is difficult for us to imagine a single meeting that lasted for twelve days. We prefer to write “meetings” or “the conference.”

      You could write the following:

      Meetings were held from August 1 to August 12.
      Meetings were held August 1-12.
      The conference was held from August 1 to August 12.
      The conference was held August 1-12.

  224. Kya says:

    I wanted to know if this phrasing works:

    Breaking her from encapsulated mind, ticked a town clock marking twenty-five in four (pm).

    and wanted to ask if PM/AM are solely for number only and if so, should I just use in the evening and noon?

    • The terms AM and PM are usually used with numerals. Also, the phrase “twenty-five in four” is uncommon in English. Perhaps you mean “twenty-five to four.” If that is the case, we recommend using “in the evening” or “in the morning.” You may also wish to use an article or adjective before the phrase “encapsulated mind.”

  225. Cheri Warburton says:

    For our wedding invitations we are wanting to write; the 2 of August, 2014. Do we need the comma before the year? Thank you.

    • In formal prose we prefer writing either “the second of August, two thousand fourteen,” “August 2, 2014,” or “the 2nd of August, 2014.” However, invitations have their own sets of rules and styles and are not always the same as formal writing. Whether to use punctuation or follow grammar rules is up to you.

  226. Jennifer says:

    I’m working on my (hopefully) first novel. I have lots of times in the book (many are precise, such as leaving flights, when to meet at the bus, what time to be there, when the alarm went off, etc). From different sites that I have looked at, say that it doesn’t really matter if I say it’s 4:30 in the morning, or four thirty in the morning, or 4:30 a.m. (A.M.). However, one I ran across stated that if different characters are saying time, I should vary the method to fit the particular character. Such as one could say 4:30 in the morning, another four-thirty in the morning, and yet another at 4 o’clock in the morning. Should I vary this or should I stick with one method?

    I apologize, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to this kind of thing and it is something that is really bugging me.

    • Using numerals for the time of day has become widely accepted, however, some writers prefer to spell out the time, particularly when using o’clock. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends using numerals when exact times are emphasized, such as 4:30 p.m. We advise that you pick a method and be consistent.

  227. Marilou Baybay says:

    What is the proper way of writing this: On May 1951 or In May 1951. Thanks.

  228. Isabel Valencia says:

    Hi Jane!

    Is it ok to write “in the year ´96″ or “in ´96″ meaning 1996 in English?

    Thanks!

    • It depends on the circumstances of your writing. “In the year ’96″ and “in ’96″ are both grammatically correct. In formal writing, however, such as an essay for school or a report for work, we recommend “in the year 1996″ or “in 1996.”

  229. Steve says:

    When writing 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., do I have to use the first am or can I leave it out?

  230. LAN says:

    Hi,

    Do you need a comma after the time of an event, as in the following:

    On Saturday, March 21, 2015, at 6 p.m. the annual budget meeting will begin at our corporate offices.

    Or should it have a comma after the time:

    On Saturday, March 21, 2015, at 6 p.m., the annual budget meeting will begin at our corporate offices.

    Thanks a bunch!!!

  231. Nancy M. says:

    I was taught that when writing a span of dates such as 7/1 – 9/30/2014. It is correct not to put the year after the first date. I am being challenged that it is only appropriate to put 7/1/2014 – 9/30/2014? Can you tell me if the school of thought on this has changed over the years?

    • There is no single right answer to this question. The Associated Press Stylebook says that, in general, the year isn’t needed in a date range within the current year. The Chicago Manual of Style recommends that “all-numeral styles of writing dates should not be used in formal writing.” In our Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, and on GrammarBook.com, we note that “there should never be spaces around hyphens.”

      Therefore, we recommend July 1-September 30, 2014; July 1 to September 30, 2014; or July 1 through September 30, 2014.

  232. Caitlin says:

    Hi! Which is correct for the sentence below:

    Deadline to apply is Sunday, August 31, at 11:59pm.

    Deadline to apply is Sunday, August 31 at 11:59pm.

    I don’t know if the comma after 31 is required, wrong or optional.

    Thanks!

  233. Caitlin says:

    Also is it 9-month with a hyphen or en dash

  234. Diane says:

    When advertising an event that lasts during two months would it be correct to say:
    October 3rd – November 1, 2014?

  235. Joe says:

    When describing logical statements, such as an if-then statement, it may become necessary to describe dates as variable. When doing this, it becomes difficult to distinguish the writer’s meaning without following-up directly. Consider this example, provided below.

    “If an update request is submitted to update the system with a newer effective date than the date of the current version, then over-write the current version with the update request submitted. The current version will be saved in version history. Otherwise, if an update request is submitted to update the system with an older effective date than the date of the current version, then make no change to the current version save the update request submitted in version history.”

    When describing dates later or earlier, older or younger, etc we build confusion. What are the best descriptive words to use in these instances?

  236. Tracy says:

    Hi,
    Which of the following is correct?
    The evidence established that on May 1, 2014, the defendant killed the victim.
    The evidence established that, on May 1, 2014, the defendant killed the victim.
    The evidence established that on May 1, 2014 the defendant killed the victim.

    Thanks!

  237. Jason says:

    Is this sentence correct:
    The company was missing the required signs between July 2, 2014 and August 2, 2014, and between September 2, 2014 and October 1, 2014.
    Thanks.

    • There should be commas after the year 2014.
      The company was missing the required signs between July 2, 2014, and August 2, 2014, and between September 2, 2014, and October 1, 2014.
      You could also write the following:

      The company was missing the required signs July 2-August 2, 2014, and September 2-October 1, 2014.
      The company was missing the required signs from July 2, 2014, to August 2, 2014, and from September 2, 2014, to October 1, 2014.

  238. Lewanda Morse says:

    When referring to a specific century (21st Century), what would be the appropriate use of superscript? Thanks!

    • Neither the Associated Press Stylebook nor the Chicago Manual of Style uses superscript with centuries. AP says, “Lowercase, spelling out numbers less than 10: the first century, the 21st century.” Chicago recommends centuries be spelled out and lowercased: the twenty-first century.

  239. Elizabeth says:

    The apostrophe either indicates ownership such as “John’s dog” or indicates a missing letter such as “doesn’t (does not)”

    Quote from above:
    Correct:
    During the ’80s, the world’s economy grew.
    During the 1980s, the world’s economy grew.
    During the 1980′s, the world’s economy grew.

    This is NOT correct as your 3rd line, “During the 1980′s, the world’s economy grew.” is in error: there is no missing letter or number and no ownership in this sentence

    • It is not true that apostrophes are used only to show possession or to indicate a contraction. Apostrophes can also be used for clarity. Examples:
      Here are some do’s and don’ts.
      I made straight A’s.

      And, in the example you cited, the New York Times would write 1980′s.

  240. Peter says:

    1)
    From 07:30 to 08:30 on August 4, 2014 filesystem had been partially unavailable due to disks failure.

    2)
    From 14:30 on Augst 10 to 11:40 on Augst 11, 2014 filesystem had been partially unavailable due to disks failure.

    please, check the date of grammar.
    Thank you.

    • Since we do not know the details of what occurred, we assume the following will suffice:

      1.) From 07:30 to 08:30 on August 4, 2014, the filesystem was partially unavailable due to disk failure.
      2.) From 14:30 on August 10 to 11:40 on August 11, 2014, the filesystem was partially unavailable due to disk failure.

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