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date: order of elements (Linguistic recommendation from the Translation Bureau)

[The same content is available in French in the article DATE : ORDRE DES ÉLÉMENTS (RECOMMANDATION LINGUISTIQUE DU BUREAU DE LA TRADUCTION).]

How to write the date in English

All numbers

The Translation Bureau recommends that a date containing only numbers be written in the following order:

  • year-month-day
    • 2008-03-04 represents March 4, 2008
    • 2008-04-03 represents April 3, 2008

Note: Use a hyphen to separate the elements of the date.

Words and numbers

The Translation Bureau recommends that a date containing words and numbers be written in the following order:

  • month-day-year
    • January 2, 2008 (not 2 January 2008)

How to write the date in French

All numbers

The Translation Bureau recommends that a date containing only numbers be written in the following order, just as in English:

  • year-month-day
    • 2008-03-04 represents March 4, 2008
    • 2008-04-03 represents April 3, 2008

Note: Use a hyphen to separate the elements of the date.

Words and numbers

Write the date using the following order:

  • day-month-year
    • le 2 janvier 2008

For a breakdown of the rules for writing the date in French, see the article DATE (RÈGLES D’ÉCRITURE) (in French only).

Additional information

For more information on writing a date in numbers, see NUMERIC DATE.