How to Say a Date in English: Formal and Informal Ways to Express Dates

When it comes to conversing in English, knowing how to express dates is crucial. Whether you are making plans, discussing an upcoming event, or simply sharing personal information, being able to communicate dates effectively helps you connect with others. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the formal and informal ways to say a date in English, with tips, examples, and even a few regional variations.

Formal Ways to Say a Date

When speaking formally or in more professional settings, it is important to use proper language and follow a specific format for expressing dates. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

The Month

In formal settings, it is common to mention the month before the day. Ensure you always capitalize the month:

  • Today’s date is January 15, 2022.
  • We will meet on December 3, 2022.

The Year

When mentioning the year, it is customary to use all four digits:

  • The conference will take place on June 25, 2023.
  • Please submit your report by September 10, 2022.

Informal Ways to Say a Date

In casual conversations or when speaking to friends and family, you can adopt a more relaxed approach when expressing dates. Here are a few tips:

The Month and Day

In informal settings, it is common to mention the month and day without capitalization:

  • Let’s hang out on January 15th.
  • His birthday is on December 3rd.

The Year

When mentioning the year in an informal context, it is acceptable to use just the last two digits:

  • They got married in ’18.
  • That event happened in ’99.

Regional Variations

English is spoken worldwide, and as a result, there are some regional variations in how dates are expressed. However, it’s important to note that the formal format mentioned earlier is widely understood and accepted. Nonetheless, here are a few examples of regional variations:

Day, Month, Year

In some countries, particularly in Europe, it is common to say the day first, followed by the month and then the year:

  • The date is written as 15 January 2022.
  • We will meet on 3 December 2022.

Month, Day, Year

In the United States, it is popular to say the month first, followed by the day and then the year:

  • The date is written as January 15, 2022.
  • We will meet on December 3, 2022.

Important Tips for Expressing Dates

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when expressing dates:

Spoken Dates

When verbally expressing a date, it is common to use ordinal numbers for the day:

  • January fifteenth
  • December third

Avoid Ambiguity

To avoid confusion, it is best to include the month in written dates, especially when communicating with an international audience:

I’ll be visiting Tokyo on the 7th. (Ambiguous)

I’ll be visiting Tokyo on November 7th. (Clear)

Include Leading Zeros

When writing the day or month as a single digit, it is advisable to include a leading zero:

  • The event is on 01/15/2022.
  • Please submit your form by 09/10/2022.

Be Consistent

Regardless of the format you choose, make sure to consistently use it throughout your communication to ensure clarity.


Mastering the art of expressing dates in English is essential for effective communication. Whether you need to communicate formally or informally, understanding the guidelines and variations presented in this guide will help you convey dates accurately and confidently. Remember to consider the context and audience when choosing how to say a date, and don’t forget to capitalize the month in formal settings. Now go forth and confidently express dates in your English conversations!

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