Efficient Guidelines To Deal With Commas In Dates

December 16, 2020


Do you know much about the punctuation in dates? It seems like a regular rule for American English. But so many people get confused when they need to write the correct punctuation between the dates. If you follow the American format, you need to incorporate commas. It means that you should separate the day from month and year. For example, the correct punctuation between the dates would be the following: Monday, October 24, 1998. 

This example is often used in written language. But there are some exceptions you need to know about. If you want to figure out more about the exceptions and figure out details about commas in dates, let’s read our article. 

How to Write Dates if There Are Two Elements: Month and Year

If you are to write dates with only two key elements, the month and the year, no commas are needed. They are omitted in this case. 

The correct variant of the rule would look this way: I was engaged in Paris in October 2017. But try not to make mistakes by using the incorrect variant: I met my friend in Paris in October 2017. 

How to Use Commas in Dates With Three Components: Date, Month, Year

If you need to format the sentences with the dates, including day, month, and year, you need to use commas only after dates. If you introduce commas after the month or year, that would be a mistake. 

This is a correct example: 

  • We decided to buy a new house on April 15, 1999.  

But if you follow the pattern used in the following sentences, you can damage the quality of your writing: 

  • We wanted to get married on April 15 1999. 
  • Our team won the game on April, 15, 1999. 

It is easy to forget about the correct place for the commas. But if you underestimate the rules, your writing would be of bad quality. So, keep this information in mind when working on the papers. 

Where Should You Include Commas if There Are 3 Components in a Sentence: Weekday, Date, Year?

If you deal with a sentence that features not only the date and year but also the weekday, you need to follow the same pattern as described in the previous paragraph. Your task is to place the comma after the weekday. Here you can see the correct and the wrong example:

  • We started our relationship on Monday, October 1, 2016. 

And now let’s see what the wrong use of the punctuation is:

  • We applied for the visa on Monday, October 1, 2016. 

What Rules to Follow: Punctuation at the Beginning of the Utterance

In the previous examples, you had a chance to learn the use of commas in dates when they end the sentence. But what is the rule if commas are to be found in the beginning? You need to stick to almost the same pattern but change it a bit. You need to put a comma after the combination of figures ends:

  • May 10, 2019, featured extensive research in the field of economics;
  • May 10, 2019 saw a great rise in a food supply shortage.

The first variant is what you need to follow, and the second is a bad example. Never omit the comma after the year. 

Middle of the Sentence: Where Should You Put the Commas?

It often happens that dates are incorporated in sentences in the middle. This is a common case, so you need to know how to deal with them. To include the commas correctly, you need first of all to figure out the type of the date. If you have a three-element date, including month, date, and year you need to put a comma after the year.

This is a rule of thumb. You cannot ignore it. If you deal with a two-element date, you should mind the context. Only depending on the contextual surrounding, you can conclude if you need to put a comma or not. 

Correct variants: 

  • Our meeting, held in October 2020 was unforgettable;
  • Our appointment on November 16, 2020, was perfectly organized; 
  • When we finished the meeting on February 1, we went home. 

Incorrect variants: 

  • Our meeting, held in October 2020, was unforgettable;
  • Our appointment on November 16, 2020, was perfectly organized;
  • When we finished the meeting on February 1 we went home. 

Therefore, sometimes the structure defines the commas in the sentence. And you cannot ignore them in such cases. 

Do You Need to Use Commas in the End?

Sometimes people are confused about the commas and their use in sentences. With a large number of rules, you can mess up with them. In some cases, you need to stick to the rules because otherwise, you violate the grammar. But sometimes, putting a period is all you need to end the sentence. You don’t need to complement the figures with commas at the end of the utterance.  

Correct variant:

  • My mother met her future husband in February 2007. 
  • My mother met her future husband in February 2007. 

“Inverted Style”: How Should You Use the Commas?

In the previous paragraphs, we have been touching upon the examples common for the American tradition. But in other parts of the world, people follow another pattern. They put the date first, and then come month and year. The three-element format, including date, month, and the year is formatted differently, as well. 

In the USA, people are used to following the month-day-year pattern. But most of the countries tend to use the day first. It can confuse the readers who receive papers with numbers. The date can be perceived in the wrong way, which can entail its consequences. For this reason, it is necessary to write the dates making sure that the reader can correctly comprehend them. 

Inverted Dates Writing

In the case of inverted dates, you don’t need to use commas between the components. This would confuse readers used to the American formatting style. 

Correct inverted style variant:

  • We bought our first house on 18 February 1998. 

Incorrect inverted style version:

  • We bought our first house on 18 February 1998. 

Inverted Dates Writing: Weekdays

In every rule, there is an exception. And here we have it. If in the inverted style, the author decides to include weekdays, it is necessary to put commas to separate weekdays. 

Correct inverted style variant: 

  • I saw this article on Tuesday, 3 April 2018.

Incorrect inverted style version:

  • I saw this article on Tuesday, 3 April 2018.

Special Dates: How We Deal With Them

Special dates are the dates of national holidays, for example. They bear specific names but follow regular punctuation rules. To format special dates, you can follow the next examples:

  • On July 4, 1999, our family decided to visit our grandparents. 
  • My parents came to my campus to celebrate Christmas on December 25, 2007. 

Tips on How to Learn the Use of Commas in Sentences

Several tips can help you process the rules faster and apply them in writing:

  • Learn the rules. In every language, there are specific punctuation rules. To remember all the cases, you can open a manual and learn the rules. This is not the easiest way because it requires hours and hours of learning the material. But if you are ready to dedicate your time to it, feel free to use this method;
  • Read a lot. If you don’t want to learn the rules, you can practice reading the dates. Choose texts where you can find dates. The more you read, the better you remember the punctuation;
  • Ask for help. If the previous methods are not for you, try the easiest one. When you ask for help, you can rely on the person working on the paper. This is the perfect one for students who lack free time. 

Dealing With Commas Is Easy

If you are afraid of making mistakes with punctuation, you don’t have to worry. All you need is practice. If you practice enough, you can achieve proficiency. Commas are important in a sentence, but if you don’t ignore them deliberately, it’s okay. You can always look up the rules and correct the situation. Practice will make you more confident and your writing perfect. 

Need Some Help?

Figuring out the correct place for the commas can be boring. You need to look through the text and research the rules. If you want professional paper help, make sure to ask our experts for help. They will assist you and provide the necessary services to manage the task.

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