Dates in English can be a little complicated (複雑). We write and say dates in different ways and there are also differences between British and American English.

In the UK we usually say the day first and then the month. In America they usually say month then day.

If we take today’s date as an example we can say:

  • (The) twenty-first of February
  • February twenty-first

When we write the date we can write:

  • 21st February or 21 February
  • February 21st or February 21

However when we say these dates aloud (声を出して) we still say “twenty-first“.

Months are always written with a capital letter (大文字):
February not february

When we abbreviate (省略) dates in writing we often add the last two letters of the full word to the number, for example:

  • first = 1st
  • second = 2nd
  • third = 3rd
  • fourth = 4th

A common mistake that students make is to write 2th, 21th etc., so be careful.

When we use dates in phrases we use “in” with months and “on” with dates.
For example:

  • My birthday is in November.
  • My birthday is on the third of November.

We can also write dates with just numbers, but the order (順番) is again different in British and American English so you must be careful. For example today’s date would be:

  • 21/2/2020 in British English
  • 2/21/2020 in American English
  • (and 2020/2/21 in Japan!)

We usually say the year as two numbers, for example we say 2020 as “twenty twenty“.

Dates in English
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