We usually use such a sign of punctuation as a comma (,) with the purpose of specifying the pause or dividing various list elements. There exist a great number of different instructions on how dates should be written correctly. The most standardized format of “commas in dates” implies to separate a day of the week from a month and a month from a year ‒ for example, Saturday, May 12, 2015. In case your time-span is consisting of two parts or even longer, you should use a pause for their partition out when these parts are presented with words or numbers.
As a rule, only four kinds of a sign of punctuation are widely used. They are:
- enumeration commas: She has bought forks (,) knives and spoons at the nearest market.
- affixing comma: Steven is an intelligent (,) smart guy.
- gapping comma: She heard the news (,) but still could not believe it.
- bracketing comma (this one is used in cases when some additional information on a definite subject is provided): Mrs. Richards (,) Paul’s mother (,) is a nurse. We can use this sign to divide multiple variables. If a time-span has more than four digits, you have to use pauses for unit separation. This kind of punctuation sign should be placed for every three digits.
One of the most frequently used comma dates formats in America is when commas are used for separation of a day of the week from the month and the date from the year: Monday, March 03, 1989. Despite that, there exist some exceptions. And that’s what we are going to have a look at further!
How to Write a Date if There is Only the Month and the Year?
In case your date consists only of the month, and the year, you do not need to use any commas:
Right: We first met in December 2000.
Wrong: We first met in December 2000.
How to Use Commas if Dates Include the Month, Date, and Year
In case your date consists of the month, date, and year, you are required to put a comma after a date, but not after a month:
Right: The day we fell in love was April 17, 1999.
Wrong: The day we fell in love was April 17, 1999.
Wrong: The day we fell in love was April 17, 1999.
Where to Put a Comma in a Date with the Day of the Week, Date, and Year?
If your date consists of a day of the week, you have to keep to the rule above and put a comma between the day of the week and the date:
Right: Our first date was on Wednesday, June 2, 2015.
Wrong: Our first date was on Wednesday, June 2, 2015
Where to Put Comma in Dates That Begin Sentences
So far, we have looked only a how to use commas correctly in dates that we have at the end of sentences. But what to do if a date starts a sentence? The rule is very much the same, but you also have to put a comma after the year:
Right: June 16, 2017, indicates our twentieth marriage day.
Wrong: June 16, 2017, indicates our twentieth marriage day.
Where to Put a Comma if Dates Appear in the Middle of Sentences?
You can find dates in the middle of sentences as well. Where to put a comma, in this case, depends on what type of date you have to punctuate. In case you deal with the month-date-year format, a comma is always required to follow the year. If it is only about a month and a year or a month and a day, the choice of comma should be conditional on contextual surrounding:
Right: Our wedding ceremony in August 2015 was unforgettable.
Wrong: Our wedding ceremony in August 2015 was unforgettable.
Right: Our wedding ceremony on August 16, 2015, was unforgettable.
Wrong: Our wedding ceremony on August 16, 2015, was unforgettable.
Right: After the end of the honeymoon on June 2, we headed for home.
Wrong: After the end of the honeymoon on June 2, we headed for home.
Should you Put a Comma if the Date Finishes the Sentence?
The rule of suing commas might seem to be quite confusing for some people, so that they even put too many commas at the very end of a sentence. Actually, you mustn’t do it – a period is more than enough.
Right: Our first son was born in October 2013.
Wrong: Our first son was born in October 2013.
How to Write a Date in the “Reversed Style”?
All said above was the explanation on how to use commas in dates when it comes to the month-date-year format, which is wide-spread in America. But you have to know also how to use and where to put it in a reversed style which is commonly used all over the rest of the world. This type of style implies putting the date first and only then writing the month and year. This kind of format requires an approach to be different, as well.
How Should Reversed Dates Be Written: Date, Month, and Year
In the case with reversed dates you do not have to put a comma between dates, months, and years, which might seem to be quite unusual for those who got used to the American date system:
Right (reversed style): The date of birth of our second daughter is 19 January 1996.
Wrong (reversed style): The date of birth of our second daughter is 19 January 1996.
Reversed Dates and Weekdays
You can put commas in reserved dates only in one case: if there is also a day of the week. In that case, you use a comma for separating the day of the week from the remaining date:
Right (reversed style): The day I first met my future wife was Tuesday, 3 April 1994.
Wrong (reversed style): The day I first met my future wife was Tuesday, 3 April 1994.
Try to Be Absolutely Correct
There is a requirement to strictly follow the rules when you insert punctuation marks into the times-pan. You can use various and multiples sources for gaining this kind of knowledge. When completing any kind of a written task, you have to mind your language and do your best to use really good English. The term “good” implies correct word usage as well as the right punctuation. With the help of the right date punctuation, you can hand over your information in a proper manner and come into the open. If it is about an academic piece of writing, you can use the correct grammar as one of the ways to reinforce your points. It is enough to make just one little mistake in the grammar, and your message will be read and understood oppositely. Thanks to the signs and symbols, we can fill up the text with the right meaning, highlight our points of view considerations.