Commas with Dates and Time Intervals

Do not place a comma between the month and the day of the month; they are considered a single unit in English. Add a comma after the day of the week, the day of the month, and the year.

Do not place a comma between the month and the day of the month; they are considered a single unit in English.

I have a meeting on November 12.

I have a meeting on November, 12.

Add a comma after the day of the week, the day of the month, and the year.

I went to Chicago on Saturday, September 26, 2020, to visit my mother.

I went to Chicago on Saturday September 26 2020 to visit my mother.

No comma is necessary, however, for just the month and the year.

I met my husband in January 2015.

1. Referring to a Specific Day

The month and the day of the month

The month and the day of the month always become a single unit, so you must not separate them with a comma.

My flight is scheduled for April 11.

My flight is scheduled for April, 11.

Commas after the day and the year

Place a comma after the day of the week, the day of the month, and the year.

She was born on Friday, November 5, 1993.

She was born on Friday November 5 1993.

Do not forget to add a comma after the year.

The column was published in the March 15, 2021, edition.

Mary came to New York on Friday, September 18, 2020, to watch a Broadway show.

Bear in mind the placement of commas in locations and addresses when combining them with dates. For example:

I was born on February 5, 1976, in Chicago, Illinois.

2. No Comma needed when Indicating Just the Month and the Year

No comma is necessary when we just mention the month, the year, or both.

John went to Rome in July 2021.

They moved here in May.

Madrid, the capital of Spain, was established in 1083 by King Alfonso I.

3. Commas with Time Intervals

The same punctuation rules apply when indicating a period of time.

Our vacation will last from Wednesday, July 27, 2022 to Monday, August 15, 2022.

We can express a time interval of several months as follows:

Complementary funding will be raised to implement the project from January to July, 2021.

Recommended: Commas with adverbs of time

4. No comma Needed with One Element

We do not use a comma with only one date element.

Do not travel to Argentina on Monday because there are some travel restrictions.

They will come to visit us in December.

Remember that the month and the day of the month is a single element of a date.

I will get married on July 23.

5. A Different Date Format

It is customary to avoid the use of comma with this format: 27 March 1997.

My brother was born in 5 April 1989.

This is the most common date format in Europe (including the UK). Despite not being broadly used in the United States, the American English writing guide "The Elements of Style" recommends it.(1)

❝ The last form (6 April 1988) is an excellent way to write a date; the figures are separated by a word and are, for that reason, quickly grasped. ❞

Strunk JR., William; White, E.B. The Elements of Style.

6. More Examples

Indicating a specific day

  • The package is supposed to arrive on Wednesday, December 16.
  • Tomorrow will be Saturday, August 28.
  • Olivia's flight is scheduled for June 23, 2023.
  • Your order will arrive on July 17, 2022.
  • My husband was born on Sunday, March 27, 1994.

Mentioning just the month and/or the year

  • The American Civil War started in April 1861.
  • Have you even been to Spain in August?
  • It was published in a February 2019 article.
  • I broke up with my boyfriend in 2020.
  • World War II is considered to have begun in September 1939.
  • I went to Thailand in December.

Time intervals

  • She stayed in Paris from July to September, 2021.
  • He was the team leader from October 26, 2015 to February 18, 2020.
  • George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799) was the first President of the United States.
  • Richard Nixon was President of the United States from 1969 to 1974.
  • Rebecca was my girlfriend from September 8, 2019 to October 13, 2020.

Using one element

  • They will go next Monday.
  • John only saw her once, in September.
  • I will be ready for this Friday.
  • The negotiations resumed in February.
  • I was hoping we could make the announcement on October 24.

7. Conclusion

The following guidelines will help you punctuate correctly a date or a time interval in English:

  1. The month and the day of the month of a date make a single unit, so never separate them with a comma (e.g., January 12). Use a comma after the day of the week, the day of the month, and the year (e.g., Friday, February 12, 2021).
  2. A comma is not required to indicate just the month and the year (e.g., in November 2015).

Recommended: Commas with nonrestrictive clauses

8. References

(1) Strunk JR., William; White, E.B. The Elements of Style.

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