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business letters: date

These guidelines will help you to write the date correctly in a business letter.

Format

The date is generally written in full in a business letter. The usual North American style places the month before the day, with a comma between the day and the year:

  • April 4, 2016

However, the date can also be written with the day before the month; in that case, no comma is used:

  • 4 April 2016

Note that in a date that includes the year, the day is represented by a cardinal number, not an ordinal number (e.g. 4 rather than 4th in the date April 4, 2016).

Placement

The date appears at the left margin in full block style, but it can be placed on the right-hand side of the page to help fit in all the pieces of information required and make it easier to find correspondence filed by date.

See an example of a date in a business letter in full block style in BUSINESS LETTERS: MODEL LETTER.