In an IELTS Listening question, I am supposed to write a date. The answer sheet gives:

23rd March / Monday 23rd March

Would March 23rd be a valid answer?

  • Provided you copied these correctly, and if ielts.com.au/articles/how-to-write-the-date-correctly is to be trusted, the second answer given wouldn't be valid, as per "If you wish to add the name of the day, it should come before the date, and should either be separated by a comma or joined by 'the' and 'of.'". The linked website is really exhaustive both as a general reference re dates, and for the IELTS exam, with all the possible alternatives listed there. I'll edit out your second question, which can be looked up easily in any dictionary.
    – user3395
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 18:20
  • 1
    I think the answer sheet is incomplete. Regarding 'March 23rd', [day] month - ordinal number, e.g. [Monday] January 6th is very common in UK and (I believe) US writing. Also [day] month - cardinal number e.g. [Monday] January 6. Sometimes a comma is used after the day, if that is written, e.g. Monday, January 6th (or January 6). Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 18:56
  • 'Monday the 6th of January' is unnecessarily verbose for many people. Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 19:38
  • @MichaelHarvey, isn't it common to have an article before the ordinal number, i.e., Monday, January the 6th? Not sure if leaving out the "the" is considered colloquialism or bad style.
    – urnonav
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 19:43
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    @MichaelHarvey Just write out examples. My eyes are glazing over trying to read your examples.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


Writing the following dates:

  • 23rd March
  • 23 March
  • March 23rd
  • March 23
    and if the day of the week is mentioned in the listening snippet
  • Monday 23(rd) March

are all perfectly fine.

No mark should be deducted for omitted the ordinal abbreviation (e.g. 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th etc.) or swapping the month with the date. Of course this is subject to the actual exam question asked, which unfortunately, the OP omitted in their request.

To support my answer, I found the following reference in the official Australian IELTS website

The date format in British English

enter image description here

With or without a comma to separate the day of the week is basically a matter of style, not grammar. Note that the suffix -th is omitted in the example (Saturday, 13 April 2019) which supports my earlier point.

As for the year, commas are not necessary when you write the date in British English, but you can if you prefer this style.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

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