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When writing an address, I wonder which comes first, the apartment number, or the house number and street name? Thanks!

For example:

1234 Charles ST APT A

Hollywood, CA 54321


APT A, 1234 Charles ST

Hollywood, CA 54321

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closed as off topic by Jasper Loy, Gnawme, Carlo_R., cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, tchrist Jul 26 '12 at 21:37

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Go to the USPS Web site, click on Look Up a ZIP Code, and enter an address. The result will be displayed in Standard Form, which will be: 1234 CHARLES ST APT A – Gnawme Jul 26 '12 at 20:42
@Gnawme: Why isn't the most specific foremost? – Tim Jul 26 '12 at 20:43
That's not how the USPS sorts mail. It goes from ZIP Code and gets sorted more specifically from there. – Gnawme Jul 26 '12 at 20:59
I write mine as 434B W 48th Street. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jul 26 '12 at 20:59
vote to migrate elsewhere – Charles Jul 26 '12 at 21:30

This depends on the postal service to which you're sending your mail. You are asking about sending mail in the US, so use the USPS website, as Gnawme recommended.

The British, Canadian, New Zealand, Indian, etc., postal services may do things differently. This is not a language question, but a policy question.

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IMO, you would go from most to least in terms of specificity. IOW, I would use

Apt A, 1234, Charles St.,

Hollywood, CA 54321.

But that's me. Seeing as to how Americans prefer mm-dd-yy to dd-mm-yy, I won't be surprised if CMoS or similar recommends that the apartment number be inserted somewhere weird :)

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Thanks! Where is your way widely used? – Tim Jul 26 '12 at 20:42
@Tim The rest of the world: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_format_by_country . I see that a couple of Americans don't like my answer :D – coleopterist Jul 27 '12 at 4:27

The Post Office likes you to write most-specific to least-specific (so, apartment first), but everyone actually writes the street address first.

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Thanks! Why is that difference? – Tim Jul 26 '12 at 20:42
The Post Office likes to read addresses from bottom to top (so country, postal code, state, city...), because they route things that way. Why everyone does it "wrong", I cannot say. – Malvolio Jul 26 '12 at 20:45
Actually USPS uses the first way in my question. – Tim Jul 26 '12 at 20:48
That's not true of all post offices. The US Postal Service, for instance, tends to put apartment on line 2. – Charles Jul 26 '12 at 21:23

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