Is it proper grammar to write July 17th or would it be the 17th of July?

  • 5
    Both are acceptable.
    – Kevin
    Jun 27 '14 at 1:29
  • What has writing the shortened form of an ordinal number got to do with grammar? I'm voting to close this question because it is basic standard English knowledge.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 27 '14 at 6:38
  • On second thoughts, I will recommend migration to ELL as the answers given here will prove to be more useful/helpful on that site.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 27 '14 at 6:43
  • @Erin This is a matter of style, not grammar. Style is very much down to personal choice, but the guides listed at the link can provide authoritative opinion (if opinion can be authoritative).
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 27 '14 at 6:57

"17th of July", "July 17th", "July the 17th", "the 17th of July", "July 17", "17 July", "July 17" would all be found in written English. Different forms are more common in different places, but none of them would be strange anywhere.

  • If the OP had actually asked if other variants existed, and which country favoured one form over the other, then it would have merited a response. The short simple answer to the OP's question is "both are correct".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 27 '14 at 6:41
  • @Mari-LouA. That answer is entailed by mine, but its incompleteness could be misleading.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jun 27 '14 at 9:34

In writing, you will generally see 17 July, 17th July, July 17 and July 17th. The day before the month is more common in BrE, and the day after the month is more common in AmE. Most style guides will tell you which one they prefer. There is a tendency to leave out 'clutter' in modern BrE style, so you will see 17 July 2014 very often.

However, when you are reading out the date, 17 July or 17th July should be read out as 'the seventeenth of July'. Similarly, July 17 or July 17th should be read out as 'July (the) seventeenth'.

Confusion arises because of the disjunction between the written and the spoken forms.

In some old fashioned or legal documents, you might still see the full form: on the seventeenth day of the month of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen - but for all intents and purposes, you can ignore this version these days!

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