Hi native English speakers,

I found the example of the out of office message on a website where it says "I’m out of the office and will be back at 9th October" I was told (by not native) that this is incorrect as "at" to be replaced by "on". Can you natives please confirm it is correct or not or both version are acceptable? Thanks a lot.

Found on website https://small-bizsense.com/professional-out-of-office-autoresponder-email-messages/

  • In American English it is idiomatic to use on with specific days. It is not technically ungrammatical to use at but it would be unusual. Oct 17, 2017 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


It is correct to say 'I will be back at nine o'clock' which is maybe what has misled you.

If the occurrence is at a specific time, we say 'back at'.

But if the occurrence is on a specific day, we say 'back on'.

'I will be back on October ninth' is correct.


In AE, the correct preposition is [on + Day] as well as Month/Day/Year (not Day/Month)

"I am out of the office and will be back on October 9th."

  • 1
    As a native speaker of AmE, NYC pattern, "9th October" isn't completely unknown, though it's definitely more common to hear "October 9th" or "the 9th of October" Oct 17, 2017 at 14:53

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