I wanted to use this, but I don't know if it's actually valid in English:

The specified date is invalid.
It points to a non-existing day.

I'm not a native speaker, and I just want to say that the input points to a date that does not exist, like 30th February.

  • 7
    The specified date is invalid is perfect. IF you are going to add the follow-on sentence it should be "It refers to a non-existent day." but I think your first sentence is fine all by itself.
    – Jim
    Jan 26, 2013 at 22:05
  • @Jim That would make a perfect answer :)
    – SeinopSys
    Jan 26, 2013 at 22:07
  • In normal conversation, something like 'The 30th of January was a Saturday this year,' or even 'The 30th of February?' would be more idiomatic. Jan 26, 2013 at 22:11
  • The term "non-existing day" is a quirk of date formats. You probably wouldn't say Blahday was a non-existing day, or a day that doesn't exist. I think it would be silly to have different error messages for, say, 30th February and 28th Nebruary. Jan 26, 2013 at 22:17
  • 1
    Accepting an answer about 20 minutes after you have asked a question may decrease the chance of you getting the best possible answer or of getting a wide range of useful information. I care not personally, but some people are influenced by an answer having been accepted. Jan 26, 2013 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


"The specified date is invalid." is not only valid, but quite common.

If you want to avoid "sounding like a robot", then you could take the invalid date in question and produce a sentence like:

There is no 31st of April.

There is no 29th of February in 2013.

  • I guess I'll just use the first sentence alone then, thanks!
    – SeinopSys
    Jan 26, 2013 at 22:43

"The specified date is invalid" will be perfectly well understood by essentially everyone who encounters it as a website error message.

You'd probably get good understanding with the unusual but brief and informative

  • No such day in calendar

If you wanted to be complete and/or pedantic you could say

  • xxx is not a valid date

where xxx is the user input data.

This carries a very slightly stronger suggestion that what is wrong is the formatting or genuine-date nature of the entry.
Without this the entry could be a properly formatted date entry and refer to a real-world day but still be "invalid". For example,

Departure date ? : 11/11/2013 Return date ? : 12/12/2012 -> The specified date is invalid (Because return is before departure)

Date of birth ? : 11/11/1812 -> The specific date is invalid (Because not even I am that old)

Even the above is not an absolute statement about date formatting or real-world date being invalid, but making this certain would require a much more complex and pedantic sentence, which is not justified or useful in the context of an error message.

  • A fun one is: “Where was Benjamin Franklin [1706–1790] on September 11th, 1752?”
    – tchrist
    Jan 27, 2013 at 2:23
  • @tchrist Thanks! I didn't know about this little slice of history. Very interesting. Mar 16, 2013 at 18:36

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