2

I am writing this sentence

I would like to know the maximum date in which I should upload my report if I want to do the presentation in October

is it correct to use in ?

9

We normally say on a date, for example:

My birthday is on the 29th of April

This also applies to named days, for example on Christmas day and on independence day.

Here is an NGram that confirms that on is the most widely used preposition in the specific context that you mentioned (date on/in which).

Note that you should say the latest date rather than the maximum date.

You could also indicate that you want to upload the report before the latest date (rather than on the last day) by saying the date by which: this Ngram shows that it occurs a lot more frequently than the other two options. You could also say the latest/last date by which but it is much less widely used.

I would like to know the date by which I should upload my report if I want to do the presentation in October

  • 4
    As @StephenCalder said in his answer, "by" is also acceptable - and in my opinion better. If you say "the latest date on which...", then you're saying you'll submit it as late as possible. If you say "the latest date by which..." then you imply that you might submit it weeks earlier. – John Burger Sep 13 '16 at 10:33
  • @JohnBurger: I have updated my answer. – JavaLatte Sep 13 '16 at 10:45
  • Better NGram. The most natural ways of saying this are "last day on which" or "day by which". You don't need "latest" or "last" with "by", and "last" is more common than the more formal "latest". And it shouldn't be "I should" but "I can" with "last day on". Because you shouldn't wait until the last day but you can. – Brythan Sep 13 '16 at 15:36
  • @Brythan@ good point, although it's risky comparing a three-word ngram with a four-word Ngram. Adding "the" makes it fair and proves your point. I have updated my anwer again. – JavaLatte Sep 13 '16 at 17:13
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    @A---B The NGram shows a very small number instances where in is used, but most are variants of "from the date, in which" which has a completely different meaning. I think that the answer is therefore: No, you cannot use in in this context. – JavaLatte Sep 13 '16 at 19:16
6

The use of "by" for "before" in this context is also acceptable; I would like to know the [final] date by which I should submit my report etc.

5

Just a brief note that might be taken note of:

The latest time or date by which something should be completed is called a deadline. This noun collocates with prepositions at, before, by, after — going before it , and for — following it.

Examples:

Circled dates indicate all the deadlines, past and future.

The time limit has been set, and the deadline is very close.

The deadline for submitting a claim to the fund is Monday.

I have enclosed an application form for you to complete and return to me before the deadline marked on it.

3

You should use by instead of in.

In this context, we use by to mean "no later than," so if you read some instructions saying:

Upload your report by Monday, Sept. 19th.

that would mean you have to upload your report no later than Sept. 19th.

I would also suggest that you use a different word in place of maximum. Minimum and maximum imply that you are talking about a quantity of items that follow a normal counting sequence (0,1,2,3...), which is not really the case when we are talking about dates. Instead you could use the word latest or possibly final.

So here is how I would change this sentence:

I would like to know the latest date by which I should upload my report if I want to do the presentation in October.

Hope this helps!

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