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How should I say the date written 'on 27 July' correctly? I was taught that such date can be read only as 'on the 27-th of July'. So my question is whether it's omitted only in written form and we have to say 'the implicit information' (or how to put it...) or it can really be said as it's written adding only -th-: 'on 27-th July'.

EDIT: I often come across this form of date in Wikipedia: 'on + number + year'. And I want to know if this written form is correct for British English. Then, if it is correct, then does it mean that one should add the words the and of when he's reading this date from that text?

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    In my experience the verbalisation of dates varies with dialects; and in particular the US -vs- UK shows differences. Sep 28, 2015 at 22:52
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    IF you are reading verbatim then it would be, "On twenty-seven July". but unless you were required, for some reason, to read verbatim, you could just as easily read it as "on the 27th of July" or "on July 27th" or, if you were feeling quaint, "on July the 27th". The point is- it's up to you... unless it's not.
    – Jim
    Sep 28, 2015 at 23:01
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    Related to (and possible duplicate of) Can we read 31 July as 'thirty one July'?
    – Jasper
    Sep 28, 2015 at 23:06
  • Nobody's going to answer while I've specified that I'm talking about British English. I'll try to explain the problem in detail. I often come across this form of date in wikipedia: 'on + number + year'. And I want to know if this written form is correct for British English. Then, if it is correct, then does it mean that one should add the words the and of when he's reading this date from that text? Sep 29, 2015 at 21:14
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    The answers to this question are still confusing for a learner who wants to know the exact difference between British/American English concerning the written format AND the pronunciation.
    – Quidam
    May 10, 2017 at 15:25

2 Answers 2

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In American English, we don't normally write dates that way, but instead write and say with the month first — even if it's written day first, we'd still usually pronounce it month first. So "27 July" becomes "July twenty-seventh".

I believe other dialects usually, but not always, include the article before the day when putting the day before the month, so "[the] twenty-seventh [of] July". It will be understandable no matter which way you say it, but it's safer to use the slightly longer form to avoid sounding awkward in places that aren't that terse.

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    Just as a point of note, the US military, and thus the entire defense contracting community, uses and is quite used to “27 July” so it’s just the purely civilian US population that is unfamiliar with that style.
    – Jim
    Sep 29, 2015 at 2:12
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I was taught that such date can be read only as 'on the 27-th of July'.

Beware of teachers who tell you things can only be done in one way, and one way only!

Take this sentence:

The treaty was signed on 27 July.

If someone was reading that aloud to me, what matters most is the date, not the format of the date, so any of these would be acceptable in my mind:

  • 27 July
  • July 27
  • July 27th
  • the 27th of July

As I said in this ELU answer, there's a difference between a notation and a pronunciation, and there's often a disconnect between the two. In other words, it's not unusual to say or read something in a manner that doesn't precisely reflect the way it's written down.

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  • Thanks! But I still have two questions: 1. Is that written form (on 27 July) appropriate for BE? 2. Can I conclude from what you've said that the best way to read this (on 27 July) for BE is on the 27-th of July? Sep 30, 2015 at 11:46
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    1. I don't know if that form is appropriate. What is the date written on? A court case? A love letter? A bank statement? Different documents call for different formats. 2. I wouldn't make that conclusion. If anything, I'd conclude that there isn't necessarily a single "best way," but more than one acceptable way.
    – J.R.
    Sep 30, 2015 at 14:27
  • Thank you for your opinion! I wish someone from Great Britain would come and corroborate or disprove it. And if he tells you are right, I'd like him to give some realistic examples. Sep 30, 2015 at 16:14
  • Those realistic examples should probably have been part of your original question. The Stack Exchange isn't designed to be a place for extended, progressive discussion.
    – J.R.
    Sep 30, 2015 at 21:28

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