In my grammar book, I have these example statements.

  1. We were married July 21, 2000, in New York.
  2. We were married on July 21 in New York.

Is it a rule not to use "on" when the year is included to specify a date?

  • Yes, just as your book has indicated.
    – Abbasi
    Jan 1 '17 at 20:45
  • No, I don't think there is any rule like that. You can just as easily say "We were married on August 30th, 2009." @Abbasi - Do you have any reference for this rule?
    – stangdon
    Jan 1 '17 at 21:01
  • @stangdon: Their grammar book itself is in fact a reference. You may also type "on or in for dates" on Google. I found this that can be considered as a reference.
    – Abbasi
    Jan 1 '17 at 21:17
  • @Abbasi: But your link does not support your claim; it doesn't say anything about complete dates.
    – ruakh
    Jan 1 '17 at 22:48
  • 1
    @Abbasi - Their grammar book is a reference?! The whole point of this question is that the book doesn't state that rule, or presumably prosseek wouldn't be asking about it. Yes, we say "in 2009" and "on July 30th", but there is nothing on the page you cite that says "don't use on if you're using a year as well as a date". I'm sorry, but you are just wrong about this one.
    – stangdon
    Jan 1 '17 at 23:46

The on is permitted, but optional, in both cases.

Personally I find it more natural to use on; the on-less version sounds quite formal to me. But the "were married" construction also sounds quite formal to me — I would have written, "We got married on July 21, 2000, in New York" — so maybe the formal style is intentional.

(For what it's worth, I'm an American in my thirties. It wouldn't surprise me if British speakers and/or older speakers would feel differently about either of these.)

  • 1
    I am British. I would always use "on" there, and omitting it sounds utterly American to me.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 1 '17 at 23:36

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