I have a prompt that allows the user to input a date used to generate a report. The date is used to find records.

  • date is on MM/DD/YY
  • date is before MM/DD/YY
  • date is after MM/DD/YY
  • date is between MM/DD/YY and MM/DD/YY

My question is for the first prompt. The word on doesn't seem correct to me, and using the phrase is equal to sounds to technical.

What would be the best way to write "date is on MM/DD/YY".

NOTE: I can not remove the third word. So "date is MM/DD/YY" is not an option, because "on/before/after" are part of a drop down selection. See sample image below.

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2 Answers 2


Forget about prepositions and use an adverb. "The date is exactly MM/DD/YY", for example.

As you say yourself, the best thing would be to just drop the word completely. "The date is X." GUIs should follow the rules of the language, not the other way round.

Oh, and also, the GUI doesn't actually say, "The date is...". It only says "is", and "published when" in the title. Meaning that you could also drop the is. Especially since it's poor practice to have all items of a list begin with the same word.

Published when

  • [on/before/after] X
  • between Y and Z

When is the report?

It's on July 1st 2013

In my opinion the preposition, on, works just fine.

EDIT: All too happy that Reg Dwight answered your question. I am not a "computer" expert.

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