Expressing Dates for intermediate learners

Telling the date is one of the most common subjects in our daily life. In this lesson, we will learn how to express the date of something.

Expressing Dates in English Language

What Are Dates?

Dates refer to specific points in time on the calendar, typically represented by the month, day, and year. They are used to indicate when an event or activity occurred, or when it is scheduled to occur.


In order to learn the dates, first, it is important to learn about the twelve months of the year. Take a look at the following list:

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Now, let us take a look at some examples:

6 March 2003

19 August 2010

We can also write them using numbers. Check out the following examples:

19 August 2010 → 19/08/2010

6 March 2003 → 6/03/2003


It is useful to know that there is a difference between the way Americans and British people write dates. Compare the following examples:

5 February 2005 → 5/02/2005 (British English)

5 February 2005 → 02/05/2005 (American English)

As you can see, Americans change the places of the day and the month when writing them in numbers.

How Do We Read Dates

In order to read dates, we must use ordinal numbers. Let us have a quick review of them:

  • First
  • Second
  • Third
  • Fourth
  • Fifth
  • Sixth
  • Seventh
  • Eighth
  • Ninth
  • Tenth

Now, let us see how we can read dates:

7/01 → It is the seventh of January

15/11 → It is the fifteenth of November

24/7 → It is the twenty-fourth of July

2/05 → It is the second of May


Sometimes, months are written in short forms. Take a look at the following examples:

8 Sept → It is the eighth of September

14 Nov → It is the fourteenth of November


Usually, when we want to refer to a specific day, we use 'on'. However, when we simply want to specify the month of the event, we use 'in'. Study the following examples carefully:

Word War II began on Sept the first. / World War II began on the first of Sept.

As you can see, both forms are correct.

Mary Anne has a flight to Armenia on March the sixteenth / on the sixteenth of March.

Can you stay with us in May?

Here, the day is not important, and the sentence is indicating the month.

We saw many tragic things in August last year.


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