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7.20 Dates, geographical names and addresses

Use a comma to separate the day of the week from the date and the place from the date:

  • Friday, February 13 but Friday the thirteenth
  • Hull, February 13

If the date is written in the order day-month-year, no commas are required before, after or between the components of the date:

  • The meeting of 10 January 1996 did little to allay tensions.

If, however, the order given is month-day-year, the day and year are separated by a comma, and the year should normally be followed by a comma within the body of a sentence or sentence equivalent:

  • February 20, 1995, marked the beginning of a new era.
  • On April 16, 1985, certain additional provisions of the Charter took effect.

If you are stating only the month and the year, do not insert a comma:

  • Treasury Board approved the submission in February 1995.

Similarly, a comma separates a place name from the name of a province or the abbreviation for that province, and the province’s name or abbreviation is normally followed by a comma within the body of a sentence or sentence equivalent:

  • Swift Current, Saskatchewan, has applied to host the event.
  • We arrived at Corner Brook, N.L., the following day.

Use commas to separate address components, as illustrated:

  • Our address is 340 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0P8, and our telephone number is 613-999-9900.

Note that the postal code is followed, but not preceded, by a comma when the address forms part of a sentence, and that two spaces separate the provincial name from the postal code.