Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If I have a date written: Saturday 16 December is it correct ?

Or does the grammar oblige me to add the number suffix to 16 making 16th as in: Saturday 16th December ?

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It is a matter of house style. Some publications will have the style explicitly set out in a standards document. For example, both the Guardian and Wikipedia standardise on not writing the number suffix in dates.

If you are writing for a magazine/etc. copy what other material in that organ does (or, trust subeditors to shape your words into their house style).

If you are in full control, pick a standard, and stick to it.

If you are writing dialogue, consider writing the exact words the person would say, in full -- so that the reader, or an actor, will say the words you had in mind.

The third of March

share|improve this answer

This is nothing to do with grammar but rather a matter of typography, and one on which practice varies. I prefer the unadorned date, 16 December, and I think that is what might now be generally found in the UK.

share|improve this answer
    
I would argue with the second part of that. In the UK, the suffix is generally used. It's the US that drops it more often, although it more likely would be ordered as December 16 there. –  Julian Jan 4 '12 at 15:03
    
I spent my entire career in the British public service where the bare numeral was used. As the 'Cambridge Guide to English Usage' points out, the trend towards using the cardinal number rather than the ordinal number is worldwide. And, as slim has mentioned, The Guardian's style guide comes down against the use of suffixes. –  Barrie England Jan 4 '12 at 16:06

About a decade ago, I read a news of reporting a lot youths in U. K. made mistakes of writing 1th 2th and 3th as suffixes of dates which were embarrassing the Education Department. As to avoid such happenings in future, the educators suggested to omit the suffixes which was accepted by related department and later not only dates but also the abbreviations of Mr, Dr and Ms are with no full stop

share|improve this answer
1  
With a citation to a source for this story, you would at least have an urban legend with a cited source. Without one, you just have a recollection in service to an urban legend. A further difficulty here is that your response doesn't directly address the poster's question of whether it is correct to omit the number suffix on dates. Please consider amending your answer to deal with these shortcomings. –  Sven Yargs Aug 9 at 6:12
    
I wonder if this has happened before? Victorian children omitting 1st [day of] September, etc. Would that make 1st September wrong? –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 at 23:29

Adding the suffix is the right way to write dates its always 3rd March or 2nd December .

share|improve this answer
1  
I think its how one has always used it and it also depends on the usage of it in your region. I have never used dates without suffixes. So for me with suffix is the right one. –  Apoorva Jan 4 '12 at 12:21
4  
I don't think this question asks about what you use. –  svick Jan 4 '12 at 13:22
    
Always is a very long time. I was taught 15th of May but May 15. –  choster Jan 4 '12 at 20:12
    
what i use meaning what i have been taught in my school, because of which i use it. –  Apoorva Jan 5 '12 at 4:13

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.