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You know the date format in American English is different from British English. So I wonder if there is a pattern when referring to parts of the day and days within a month. Which sounds more natural? Or are both natural but have slightly different nuances?

  1. Usually Omar buys stamps on the first day of the month in the morning.

  2. Usually Omar buys stamps in the morning on the first day of the month.

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    What has this to do with the different m-d-y and d-m-y formats? Mar 30, 2018 at 22:19
  • @WeatherVane To justify my question about the order in the sentences.
    – learner
    Mar 30, 2018 at 22:28

1 Answer 1

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There are many ways to express these ideas. Neither example you provide is wrong. Which of the many ways is best would depend on where you are and who you're speaking with. Frankly, it is more important to be clear than it is to be dialectically precise.

For example, I would express the idea as:

Usually Omar buys stamps on the morning of the first day of the month.

Note the differet prepositions. I'd probably start a fight if I suggested that "on" is more appropriate than "in" or vice-versa.

However, the "of" ("of the first...") is better than "on" because the morning belongs to a specific day and "of" is indicating that possessiveness.

It's also a habit to put the "smallest" aspect of an idea first. Thus "morning" comes before "day," which comes before "month", because each is in turn a part of the next item in line. I doubt it's an actual rule, but it does sound most natural to my ear.

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  • In the US you may also hear something similar: "... in the morning of the first of the month."
    – m_a_s
    Mar 31, 2018 at 0:23

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