British vs American English Date Format

British vs American English Date Format

In this lesson, we will be outlining the different ways in which the British and the American English date is written. As a matter of fact, the date and time notation in the United States completely differs from that used in nearly all other countries.

There are two ways of writing the date in English:

British English Date Format

Format: DAY – MONTH – YEAR
Written English: 17th November 1984 (Day + Month)
Spoken English: The 17th of November nineteen eighty-four
Numbers: 17 / 11 / 84

American English Date Format

Format: MONTH – DAY – YEAR
Written English: November 17th, 1984 (Month + Day)
Spoken English: November the fourteenth nineteen eighty-four
Numbers: 11 / 17 / 84

Important Points to Remember About the Date in English

Ordinal Numbers

In spoken English, we always use ordinal numbers to represent the date.

An Ordinal Number is a number that tells the position of something in a list, such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc.

The ordinal number is always said, even if the –th isn’t written.


1st – first
2nd – second
3rd – third
4th – fourth
5th – fifth
6th – sixth
7th – seventh
11th – eleventh
20th – twentieth
21st – twenty first
22nd – twenty second
31st – thirty first
60th – sixtieth
75th – seventy fifth
100th – one hundredth

Capital Letter

We always start the Months of the year with a capital letter.

For example:  October – correct | october – incorrect


How to Answer A Question About the Date

Questions: What is today’s date? / What’s today’s date? / What day is this?

American English:

  • Today is June the tenth two thousand and nineteen.
  • Today’s date is June 10th, 2019.

British English

  • Today is the tenth of June two thousand and nineteen.
  • Today’s date is the 10th of June, 2019.

The Year in English

In English, the year is usually divided into two parts:

  1. You write 19 37
  2. You say nineteen thirty-seven


1743  – seventeen forty three
1812 – eighteen twelve
2019 – twenty nineteen

Exception: For the year 2000, you say the year two thousand.

For the years from 2000 to 2010, we usually say two thousand and + number.


From 2000 to 2010, we normally say:

  • Two thousand and one (2001)
  • Two thousand and three (2003)
  • Two thousand and five (2005)
  • Two thousand and seven (2007)
  • Two thousand and nine (2009)

When a year ends in a number between 01 and 09, the last part is pronounced as the name of the letter O + number.


  • 1505 – fifteen O five
  • 1602 – sixteen O two
  • 1708 – seventeen O eight
  • 1801 – eighteen O one
  • 909 – nineteen O nine

When a year ends in 00 (e.g. 1700), then the year is said as the digits before 00, and then hundred.


  • 1200 – twelve hundred
  • 1300 – thirteen hundred
  • 1400 – fourteen hundred
  • 1500 – fifteen hundred
  • 1800 – eighteen hundred

For the first years after 2010, you may hear two different versions.

  1. 2017 – two thousand and seventeen
  2. 2017 – twenty seventeen

They are both used and correct.

In our present day, we continue to use this format and say the year divided into two parts.

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