I am reading the Time magazine and I noticed that the choice to use the preposition "on" before the dates are puzzling:

An example:

..., but German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass warned Sept. 6 that the country might "change [its] stance"..

but, by the same author, another sentence in the same article read:

Since Berlin detected Novichok, an internationally banned nerve agent, in Navalny's body on Sept. 2,...

And this phenomenon happened throughout the magazine.

Why in the first case the absence of "on" is valid and accepted? It seems unnatural to me.

More examples here:

And Lou, who died Sept. 6 at 81,...
The 2020 Kentucky Derby-- which was run Sept 5. after being postponed...

  • 1
    It can be omitted as warn can take a direct object like that.
    – Lambie
    Feb 12, 2021 at 15:31
  • @Lambie is there a rule-of-thumb on what are the verbs that can do that?
    – cZe99
    Feb 12, 2021 at 15:36
  • This is essentially a question of style. I see/hear the preposition far more often omitted by American than UK media and more often in print than radio/TV.. Feb 12, 2021 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


Either form works grammatically, and which one sounds more natural varies by region both both can be understood.

Overall, using "on" will often sound more natural. Leaving it out will often sound more clipped. It seems more common to leave it out in a printed context where extra letters may cost more to print.

It is one of those things are are left to the preference of the writer, but the writer should usually try to be consistent.


Warned on September 6 means that the speaker delivered his warning exactly on sep 6. Warned sep 6 refers to a date. I warned people that sep 6 2020 would be a poignant date. The speaker delivered his speech weeks or months ago.

  • This answer is incorrect in the quoted context. If the date was followed by a verb, then the date itself would be the subject of the sentence as you say in your answer here. But here, the date is preceded by the verb instead, which makes it have the same meaning as if you had added "on". "On September 6th, the German Foreign Minister warned that the county might change its stance" would be a valid way to reword the same meaning. Feb 21, 2021 at 10:29

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