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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 ?

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3 Answers

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

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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.

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

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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
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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
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