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I read this sentence:

Now, at last, Arctic Deeply will debut Dec. 8, and Setrakian says she is "extremely excited.1

I don't know exactly why it is not "debut on Dec. 8". I reckon it's an acceptable expression without a preposition "on" here, but I still wonder if it's acceptable in all cases to omit a preposition between a verb and a date.

Can I say sentences like "I'll leave (for the next city) Dec. 8"?

What about "I'll quit Dec. 8" ,"I'll start Dec.8", and "I'll renounce Dec. 8"? Are there different interpretations with two or more possible meanings?

Is that usage kind of informal?


1. USA TODAY

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    You can say both I leave December 8th and I leave on December 8th, as well as I'll leave (for the next city) Dec. 8 (or: on Dec 8). You can say I work the 15th of January and I work on the 15th of January. The verb debut works the same way. I can't explain the exact difference at this moment, but both versions (with or without on) are correct with both leave and debut. There is a subtle difference in how the speaker conceives of the day. – user20792 Nov 26 '15 at 2:21
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    We say: I debut/leave/work tomorrow but we would not use the preposition on before tomorrow (or today or yesterday). So there is something about that usage that applies to the other uses, when the preposition is okay to use, or not use. For instance, with all the days of the week, Monday etc, you can use or not use the preposition. So we can say I worked (on) Wednesday but we cannot say I worked on yesterday. By "cannot" I mean we "do not". – user20792 Nov 26 '15 at 2:34
  • See also Does "It snowed hard Monday" require an "on"? – user20792 Nov 26 '15 at 13:54
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You can omit the preposition preceding the time/date if there is a strong implication that you are traveling or being scheduled to perform the action of the verb - i.e. if the verb describes a significant event.

I'm performing the 2nd, with the others

I'm leaving the 4th

I'm flying in the 23rd of March.

So with your example, I'll leave (for the next city) Dec. 8, you can absolutely say that and you are giving the impression you need to be in the next city for something scheduled that is important or significant.

When in doubt, include the preposition, because it's never wrong or awkward to include it.

  • the example sentence "I'm performing the 2nd, with the others", I would tend to understand it like "I'm going to be the second performer" or "I will act the second character"? And about your third sentence, should it be "on" instead of "in" before "the 23rd of March"? – dennylv Nov 26 '15 at 2:39
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    Yeah, "the 2nd" was a bad date to pick as an example. Substitute a date of your choice. "Flying in" means to arrive somewhere via flight. – LawrenceC Nov 26 '15 at 2:53
  • "fly in" means "arrive in by air". Got it, thanks:) – dennylv Nov 26 '15 at 3:00
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    I'm pretty sure this is American usage. In Australia where I live you almost always have to use "on". Plus it gets the message across easier. – Riley Francisco Nov 26 '15 at 5:11
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The "on" is simply being elided. It's essentially being left implicit.

In the other example you ask about, yes, you could say "I'll leave Dec. 8". It does mean that it is slightly more ambiguous - "I'll leave Dec 8th [free in case you decide to visit]", but your intended meaning will generally be clear from context.

It can't be omitted in all cases, e.g. "she sat on the chair" would never become "she sat the chair".

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