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I saw your advertisement in a newspaper on 12th October, 2017

When I wrote this message and when people saw it, what would they think of the date in this message? I mean I am not sure whether the date (12th October 2017) was the date when the advertisement was published in the newspaper, or it was the date when I saw the newspaper.

If the newspaper with the advistement was published on 12th October 2017, but I saw the newspaper some days later, say I saw it on 16th October 2017, How should I tell people about this?

Should I write

I saw your advertisement in a newspaper on 12th October, 2017

or

I saw your advertisement in a newspaper on 16th October, 2017

or

I saw your advertisement in a newspaper published on 12th October 2017 but I saw it on 16th October, 2017.

But the 3rd sentence is clumsy.

  • I believe the original poster of the advertisement will know the date he had it published. So he wouldn't be confused, right? – Varun Nair Oct 18 '17 at 10:42
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I saw your advertisement in a newspaper on 12th October, 2017

When I wrote this message and when people saw it, what would they think of the date in this message?

--> My initial understanding is that you saw the advertisement on the 12th of October.

One good way to remove ambiguity is to write:

On 16 October 2017, I saw your advertisement in a newspaper dated 12 October 2017.

IMO, using the word dated to indicate date marks on publications/emails, etc., is effective (and provides clarity in cases similar to this question).

There might be other answers based on varying context, but I suggest using the pattern of the sentence above to provide unambiguous information (in general).

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