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How to Write the Date on a Letter
Last Updated: July 25, 2023 References
This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff . Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 286,577 times. Learn more...
There are many different ways to write out the date on a letter. How you write the date depends on what kind of letter you’re writing. For instance, there are very strict rules if you're writing a formal letter, but the location of the date doesn't matter as much in an informal letter. Picking the appropriate format for the date on your letter can be a little confusing, but it’s easy once you understand the differences.
Writing the Date on a Formal Letter
- Cover letters for potential jobs or letters of complaint are typically written in block format.  X Research source
- Use the same formatting throughout the rest of your letter. For example, if you skipped 1 line between the address and the date, skip 1 line between the date and the recipient’s information . Consistent formatting will make your letter look neat and organized.
- If you’re using a professional letterhead that includes the sender’s address in the header, your date will be written first in your letter.
- If both you and your recipient of the letter are in the U.S., Belize, or Micronesia, write your date in month-date-year format. For instance, if your letter were dated 02/23/2019, you would write the date as "February 23, 2019."  X Research source
- In much of the rest of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, or most of Central America, the preferred format is date-month-year, which looks like "23 February, 2019." If both you and the recipient live somewhere where this format is used, opt for this style.  X Research source
- If you live where one format is used and the recipient lives somewhere that the other format is preferred, you can choose which one you'd rather use. You can also sidestep the issue by using a year-month-date format, or "2019 February 23," if you'd like.
Writing the Date on a Semi-Formal Letter
- Semi-formal letters are often used to write to professional people you know well, like a former boss or coworker.  X Research source
- If you’re typing your semi-formal letter, an existing template in a word processing program can help you format your letter.
- If you're including the recipient's address, or inside address, as you would in a professional semi-formal letter, it goes 2 lines below the date. If you're omitting that, the next line will be the salutation, including the recipient's courtesy title.
- If you'd like, you may opt to write the date as "2019 January 31."  X Research source
Writing the Date on an Informal Letter
- After the date, skip 1-2 lines, then write your salutation.
- There are a few ways to write the date numerically. You can separate the numbers with hyphens(-), slashes(/) or periods(.). For example, "January 31, 2019" might be written in the US format as "01-31-2019," "01/31/2019," or "01.31.2019."  X Research source
- You can also shorten numbers in an informal letter. "January 31, 2019" might be written as "1/31/19," eliminating the zero and part of the year.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- Write cardinal numbers (1, 2) rather than ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd). For example, you'd write "November 2, 2019" or "2 November, 2019," not "November 2nd, 2019" or "2nd November, 2019."  X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- If you often write formal letters for your job, check if there’s a house style guide you should be following. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/professional_technical_writing/basic_business_letters/index.html
- ↑ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/writing-help/how-to-lay-out-a-letter
- ↑ https://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2guides/guides/favart/index-fra.html?lang=fra&lettr=indx_autr8SPbfCcS_FFE&page=9geHWsOpC7ZI.html
- ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/how-to-formally-write-the-date.html
- ↑ https://nmu.edu/writingcenter/parts-business-letter
- ↑ https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html
- ↑ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/writing-help/letter-formats-block-modified-block-and-semi-block
About This Article
To add the date to a formal letter, put it 1 or 2 lines below the sender’s address. Write the date out in full rather than using any abbreviations. For example, you would write out the date like “February 19, 2019.” Make sure the date is aligned with the left margin to make it look neat. If your letter is less formal, like to a friend or someone you know well, add the date at the top. You can choose whatever format you’d like for the date, such as using all numbers or abbreviating the month. For tips on how to write a date in a professional letter, such as to a boss or co-worker, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to write the date correctly
Writing dates in English can be done in a variety of ways. Here are some common ways to write dates in British and American English, or you can skip straight to tips for writing dates for IELTS by clicking the jump links.
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The date format in british english, how to write the date in numbers, the date format in american english, other date formats, using the correct date format for ielts, the correct date format for ielts writing, the correct date format for ielts listening, the correct date format for ielts speaking.
What is the correct date format in English? How you do this usually depends on whether you write a formal letter or an informal note, or whether your use the British or American date format. As you can see from the examples below, there are a number of ways in which you can write the same date. A general rule: the more complicated the style of date, the more formal it is.
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In British English, which is the type of English mainly used in Australia, the day is followed by the month, which is then followed by the year. The 6th day of the month September, in the year 2019, might be written in full (in order of complexity):
6 September 2019
6th September 2019
the 6th of September 2019
the 6th of September, 2019
The last two date formats are more formal. The “the” and “of” are optional but if you do use them, you must add both “the” and “of.” It is incorrect to say only “6th of September” or “the 6th September.”
As for the year, commas are not necessary when you write the date in British English, but you can if you prefer this style.
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.”
Saturday, 13 April 2019
Saturday the 13th of April, 2019
If you prefer to abbreviate the date, you can use the following style in British English. Again, the day comes first, then the month, then the year.
6/9/19 or 6.9.19 or 6-9-19
06/09/2019 or 06.09.2019 or 06-09-2019
9Sept2019 or 6-Sept-19
The most commonly used separator in the all-numeric date format is a forward slash (/). However, you can also use a hyphen (-) or a period (.).
When you prefer to write the date in American English, usually the month comes before the day, followed by the year. If we use the same example as before: The 6th day of the month September, in the year 2019, then the date in American English should be written as:
September 6, 2019
Monday, September 6, 2019
Dates written as April the 13th or April 13th are not incorrect, but are less common in American English.
In American English, if you want to write the date in all-numeric, you will need to use the following style. Here, too, the month comes first, then the day, then the year.
04/13/19 or 04.13.19 or 04-13-19
04/13/2019 or 04.13.2019 or 04-13-2019
Apr. 13, 2019
The International Standard
In an effort to avoid miscommunication between people using the British date format and those using the American date format, an International Standard was developed. If an Australian writes February 3, 2019 as 03/02/2019, but an American writes the same date as 02/03/2019, who’s right? The international standard recommends writing the date as year, then month, then the day: YYYY-MM-DD. So if both Australians and Americans used this, they would both write the date as 2019-02-03.
Writing the date this way avoids confusion by placing the year first. Much of Asia uses this form when writing the date. For example:
January 1, 2018 would be written as 2018 January 1. (Did you notice there’s no comma?).
Whatever the format, in British English, dates are usually written in the order day – month – year, while in American English they are written month – day – year. For IELTS, you can use both date formats.
For IELTS, it doesn’t matter if you use American English spelling, or British English. Both are acceptable. However, you should pay attention to the tone of your letter: writing an email to a friend is different than writing a formal letter to your employer. The use of your date format should be appropriate to tone of the letter. For example, in a formal letter, you wouldn’t use contractions (you should write cannot instead of can’t, or would not instead of wouldn’t). If the IELTS Writing task tells you to start with “Dear Sir or Madam” (which indicates it’s a formal letter), you should try to use a formal datestyle.
IELTS Writing tip: With the exception of May and June, months can be shortened as follows: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Jul, Aug, Sept/Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.
In formal American English or British English, you never want to omit the year (e.g. 20 November or November 20). You also want to avoid a purely numerical form for the date (e.g. 20/11/2019 or 11/20/2019). For example, if you were to write a formal business letter, you’d write out the entire date, including the full month. In British English, you could write the date as 6th September 2019. In American English, you could use September 6, 2019.
IELTS Writing tip: Remember, the first letter of each month is always written in capital letters.
Dates in informal writing
If your task requires a less formal response (for example a letter to a friend), a shorter date format can be used. This typically uses only numbers separated by full stops or slashes, rather than writing out the month. Shortening the year is also acceptable, such as in the following:
You can also write out the date but shorten the month to save space:
8 December 2019 → 8 Dec 2019
7 October → 7 Oct
If you’re not sure about your IELTS Writing, get in touch with the professionals and get some coaching to increase your IELTS score.
The first tip for your listening test: Be careful to note word limits. If there is an instruction in the question: “Write no more than two words,” writing more than two words will mean you will receive no marks at all for your answer, even if some of the words are correct.
When you are writing dates as an answer to any question, remember that there are several correct ways to write them (e.g. 24th April, April 24 and 24 April are all correct).
A second tip: When writing the date in the IELTS Listening test, you can write dates as numbers such as 19/02 or 02/19 (for 19 February). This eliminates spelling mistakes and complies with questions that only allow 1-word answers.
Need some further practice with IELTS Listening ? Check our free online preparation material or attend an IELTS Masterclass near you.
As you’ve seen before, in written English you may write a normal (cardinal) number without the “th” or “st” etc. after it. Even if it is not written, the ordinal number is still said in spoken English. In American English, it is not common to put the -th after the number in written English.
Speaking test tip: Practise the pronunciation of numbers to be sure that your meaning is clear. For example, many numbers can sound very similar when spoken, so be sure to say them clearly, e.g. ‘Thirty’ and ‘Thirteen’, ‘Forty’ and ‘Fourteen’, ‘Fifty’ and ‘Fifteen’, etc.
Let’s have a look at how you can say the date correctly in your IELTS Speaking test:
30 March 1993
American English: ‘March the thirtieth, nineteen ninety-three’ or ‘March thirtieth, nineteen ninety-three’
British English: ‘the thirtieth of March, nineteen ninety-three’
1 December 2017
American English: ‘December the first, twenty seventeen’ or ‘December first, two thousand and seventeen’
British English: ‘the first of December, twenty seventeen’
How do you say years in English?
When you are talking about years, this is how you would say the year correctly in English:
1100 = ‘eleven hundred’
1309 = ‘thirteen hundred and nine’ or ‘thirteen ‘oh’ nine’
1678 = ‘sixteen (hundred and) seventy-eight’
1910 = ‘nineteen (hundred and) ten’
1946 = ‘nineteen (hundred and) forty-six’
2000 = ‘two thousand’
2007 = ‘two thousand and seven’ or ‘twenty ‘oh’ seven’
2019 = ‘two thousand and nineteen’ or ‘twenty nineteen’
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A Guide on How to Write Date in Formal Letter
Table of Contents
Writing a formal letter is never easy. You may wonder how to write date in formal letter .
What is a Formal Letter?
A formal letter is a written or printed communication sent to an individual or institution by a person or company. This letter mainly involves corporate individuals like entrepreneurs whenever they talk about a deal or specific official topic.
Apart from that, letters can classify into two types: informal letters, which means to address acquaintances. On the other hand, formal letters are written to financially or politically high-ranking somebody. In some countries, a person can write both a formal and informal letter in one instance. This kind of letter is called a mixed letter.
Some individuals involved in affairs like businesses and companies use formal letters for corporate purposes. They usually use these letters to communicate correctly and increase their business connections.
Formal letters must follow a precise and professional format. The letter should begin with a mailing address, sender and recipient contact information, the date, and salutation.
Why is Date Important in Formal Letters?
Why should date be included in a formal letter? When business letters are sent, the date is often used as a legal document to record the date and time of the letter.
Date is usually stated right after the salutation, at the top of the first page of the letter. Formal letter date guidelines are similar to date conventions in a newspaper. More often, date is helpful in documentation: case law, civil records, judicial proceedings, and legal actions such as a lawsuit.
The answer is that when you write a formal letter, you want to make sure you know when it was sent. It also tells how much time has passed since it was delivered, and how long it took to reach the recipient. This is especially important when you’re writing a letter of inquiry, and you want to make sure the recipient can read between the lines.
Writing the date in your formal letter will help your recipient understand when did you write the letter. It helps to increase or decrease the sense of urgency towards the reader, especially if your writing requires immediate or no response.
Although date is an integral part of formal letters, writing it requires formality. Writing the date is not as simple as inscribing the month, day, and year. It has a format, and you should follow that at all times.
There are a number of ways to write the date in English. The English language varies from formal to informal, and British and American English differ.
How to Write Date in Formal Letter?
It’s the month before the day, with a comma between the year and the day: May 12, 2022.
How do you write the date in a sentence? When writing a date, a comma is used to distinguish the day from the month, and the date from the year.
When the day and month is a part of a sentence you should always write its date in full. It usually involves giving the month, month, and year.
Please note that the year follows a comma. However, you can use several formats. This can include omitting the year or adding the day of the week. When writing out the date in full, you may use ordinal instead of cardinal numbers.
Whatever date format you use, ensure that you apply it consistently across all dates in your document. You can write dates using English in a variety of ways. Which is why you have to learn to write dates in British and American English.
The dates written as April 13th or April 13 are not incorrect, but are less common in American English.
Next, write the date on which you sent the letter. Align this information to the left or right margin. Months and dates can be spelled out using letters and numbers. In the entire date. Use the month and day, and year numbers in the month.
For example, you can write the current date as of this writing as May 12th, 2022.
When you write, sign, and send the letter, the information can become an essential record for legal documents, contracts, and agreements.
Correctly using the right date format in your formal letter will help you write excellently . Writing date in formal letter is not difficult if you know some very essential tips and rules. Just remember everything we tackled above.
Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.
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Date In A Letter ( Guide: Formal Letters And In Business)
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Table of Contents
Writing Date In A Letter
In business communications, it’s important that you know how to write the date in various types of letters and communications that you send out.
It’s easy to get confused about writing the date in a letter as you’ve probably seen different variations.
To help you understand the proper way of dating a letter, I have put together this guide to help you.
No matter if you’re going to be dating a formal letter or a letter to your friend, you will know exactly how to date your letter.
Before we get into the details of dating your letter, let me briefly provide you the different dating systems.
Writing Date In America
The American way of dating a letter is to write the month, day, and year (MM-DD-YYYY).
July 4, 2000 07/04/2000 7/4/00 Author
Writing Date In Europe
In Europe and many other countries in the world, you’ll write the day first, then the month, and the year (DD-MM-YYYY).
4 July 2022 4/7/00 04/07/2000 Author
Here are some of the regions that format their date in the Day/Month/Year format:
- Central America (except Belize)
- South America
Writing Date In Asia
In some other places in the world such as in Asia, many countries will put the year (YYYY-MM-DD).
2000 July 4 Author
Writing Date In International Standards
Since there are so many different ways of writing date, the International Standard 8601 (ISO 8601) was created to clarify the potential for miscommunication.
According to ISO 8601 , you will write the year, month, and day (YYYY-MM-DD).
How To Date A Letter
Now that we have looked at the different dating systems and how people write the date in different countries, let’s look at how you will write a date on a letter.
In business communications, you have three ways of writing the date :
- Full block format
- Indented paragraph format
- Simplified style format
Full Block Format
In the full block format, you will put the date, recipient’s address, and content of your letter all aligned on the left side of the page.
Your date must be perfectly aligned on the left.
[Date] [Recipient Name] [Recipient Address] [Body of letter] Author
Indented Paragraph Format
The indented paragraph format is one where you will put the date and address indented to the center or the right side of the page.
Typically, you will also need to put the signature on the right side of the page as well.
Simplified Style Format
With the simplified style format, you’ll write the date and address on the left side of the page.
The main difference between the simplified style and the full block is what comes right after the address.
In the full block format, you’ll start with the salutations like (“Dear…”) whereas in the simplified style format, you’ll put the subject line under the address in capital letters.
Date In A Letter Tips
Writing the date in a letter can sometimes get confusing.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when putting a date on a letter.
In the United States , Belize, and Micronesia, you will need to use the MONTH-DAY-YEAR format.
Some other countries may also use the MONTH-DAY-YEAR format as a secondary option such as Canada and the Philippines.
In most other countries in the world like Europe , South America, Africa, Asia, Mexico, Oceania, and Central America, you’ll need to use the DAY-MONTH-YEAR format.
When using the international standard for writing a numerical date, you’ll need to use dashes (-) to separate the numbers although the slash (/) or dot (.) is also accepted.
In the United States, when you’re writing a formal letter, you should write out the date in full by putting the month, day, and year (October 1, 20XX).
In the US , you’ll need to separate the day and the year with a comma .
In other parts of the world, you’ll write the day first, month, and year in full (1 October 20XX).
When writing the date in a formal European letter, you do not need to add a comma .
In some Asian countries, you’ll write the year, month, and day without any punctuation (20XX October 1).
Finally, note that in Hungary , writing the date follows its own rules where you put the year, dot, month, and day (20XX. October 1).
Date In A Letter FAQs
Let’s look at a few commonly asked questions regarding how to put date on letter.
How to write date in formal letter
When you’re writing a formal letter, you’ll need to write the date in full when it’s part of your sentence.
The present contract is entered into on March 1, 20XX Author
It’s important that you separate the day and the year with a comma.
If you’re writing a formal letter in an email, you don’t have to put the date as the email will automatically stamp the date your email was sent.
There are other variations of writing the date in full in a sentence that is acceptable as well such as using ordinal number , cardinal numbers, or adding the day of the week.
Friday, November 15 Friday, November 15, 20XX The 15th day of November 20XX Author
How to write date in a semiformal letter
If you’re writing a semiformal letter, like to a colleague or a professional that you know, you can use the full block format where you align the date and address on the left of the page.
You can also use a modified version of the full block formate by indenting the date and address.
How to write date in an informal letter
When you’re writing an informal letter, you can put the date on the left, center, or right of the page and omit the recipient’s address.
You can also choose to abbreviate the date if you’re writing it in a sentence (for example, Apr. 1, 20XX ).
How to write date in a business letter
In a business letter , you will generally write the date in full where you indicate the month before the day with a comma between the day and the year ( February 1, 20XX ).
You can also choose to put the day before the month and the then year where in this case you will no use any comma ( 1 February 20XX ).
Generally, the date will be represented in cardinal numbers and not ordinal ( February 4 instead of February 4th ).
Finally, you will place the date on the top left side of the page as you would in a full block style.
You can also put the date on the right side of the page as well.
Which side do you write the date on a letter
In the United States, most of the time the date will be written fully aligned on the left of the page.
However, depending on the format that you use, you can also indent the date, and put it in the center, or left of the page.
Have a look at the Indented Paragraph Format and Simplified Style Format above.
Where does the date go on a letter
The date on the letter will generally go at the top.
You can then choose to put the date aligned to the left, center, or aligned to the right side of the page depending on the format you use to address your letter.
The most common way of writing a letter is to use a full block format where you’ll put the date on the left of the page.
What is a date format
A date format is a convention you use to write a date.
There are different types of date formats:
- MM/DD/YY : Month-Day-Year with leading zeros (04/15/20XX)
- DD/MM/YY : Day-Month-Year with leading zeros (15/04/200XX)
- YY/MM/DD : Year-Month-Day with leading zeros (20XX/04/15)
- Month D, Yr : Month name-Day-Year with no leading zeros (April 15, 20XX)
How do you abbreviate the date
When you’re writing a less formal letter or when you’re writing the date outside of a sentence, you can try abbreviating it.
September 10, 20XX will be written as Sep. 10, 20XX Author
To abbreviate your month, you’ll generally use the first three letters of the month followed by a period.
How do you write the date as numerals
There are many ways you can write a date as numerals.
Here are the different possible variations to write January 15th:
In the United States, the DD/MM/YYYY is the preferred date format in numerals.
In Europe, the MM/DD/YYYY is the preferred date format in numerals.
So there you have it folks!
Dating a letter can be confusing at times as there are many date format variations to choose from.
Writing the date on a letter or legal document is crucial to ensure you protect your legal rights or document the communication in time.
In this article, I have compiled a list of things to consider when writing the date in your letter.
I hope you have found this helpful and good luck with your letter!
If you enjoyed this article on Date In A Letter , I recommend you look into the following terms and concepts. Enjoy!
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How to Write a Formal Letter
With the invention of email, letter writing is becoming less popular, but despite this it is an important skill. If you'd like to learn about email writing, check out our lesson about how to write a formal email . This guide is for a typed, formal letter, that you could send to a company about a job, or to your bank about your finances.
Begin your letter
Begin your letter by including your address at the top right-hand corner of the page, and the address and name of the person you are writing to at the top left hand corner.
Be sure to date your letter so the recipient will know when you wrote it. You may place the date either on the right hand side of the page, a few lines below your address, or on the left side of the page a few lines below the other person’s address.
Now write the greeting on the left side of the page a few lines below the heading. If you know the name of the person you are emailing and have a formal relationship with them, begin by saying ‘Dear Ms [Surname],’. If you don’t know the person’s name, use ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, or ‘To whom it may concern’. Top Tip: Remember to always include a comma after ‘Dear [Name]’!
Writing the letter
Your letter does not need to be long, but be clear. Introduce yourself and why you are writing (the reason or goal for your letter). If you need to, include examples or specifics to further explain your point in a second paragraph. Use the third paragraph to suggest what should be done to accomplish your goal or solve your issue.
Sign off the letter with an appropriate salutation. ‘Sincerely’, ‘Cordially’, and ‘Best’ are all common and appropriate ways to sign your email. After the salutation, skip a few lines before typing your name to leave a blank space between the salutation and your name. Once you have printed the letter, sign your name with a pen in the blank space.
Check out our example below! And don't forget to share this lesson with your friends and leave us a comment telling us why you liked it!
- Lesson Index
English language Schools
In OET Writing, you should follow the standard layout for letters. That means, you write the recipient's details, including their address in the top left, the date, plus a salutation (e.g. Dear Doctor) and an Re: line.
We hear many questions about how and where to write the date in OET Writing tasks. In this blog, we'll clear everything up with the answers to three common questions.
1. Should the date come at the very top of the letter or after the address?
The position of the date can be either above the recipient's address or below the address. It is normal to leave a blank line space between the date and address. See examples below:
2. Should the date be in full-form or numbers separated by slashes?
In formal letters, it is normal for the date at the start to be written in full form e.g. 2 October 2021 rather than 2/10/21. Check out the sample letters that come with our free sample tests for more examples.
3. Should I write the date of the test, the discharge date of the patient or some other date?
The date for your letter will usually be given at the start of the writing test, like this: Assume that today's date is ....
Use that date. If you make a mistake in the test and write a different date or use numbers not words, don't panic. The assessors are looking for your understanding of letter writing convention in English. It is much more important that a date is on the letter than that the date you used is correct.
- TOEFL Writing Correction Topics
- Writing Correction
- Speaking Mock Test
- Reading Course
- Listening Practice Tests
- FREE Practice Tests
- OET Writing Correction
- OET Reading Course
- OET Speaking Mock Test
- TOEFL Writing Correction
- PTE Writing Correction
- OET Listening Practice Tests
- OET (Occupational English Test)
- PTE (Pearson Test of English)
Format for Writing a Date in OET Letters
- Writing Tips
- Examiner’s Guide
- Uncountable Nouns
- Assessment Criteria
- 2019 Update
- Date Format
- Recipient’s Address
- All about Patient
In OET letter writing, you are expected to write dates for conveying information accurately. Considering that you are writing a formal letter, it is important that everything, include dates, is presented accurately and in the appropriate style.
Table of Contents
- Dates & Assessment Criteria
- Date at the start
- Date in the reference line (Re:)
- Date in the body of the letter
- British or American date format
- Date formats to be avoided
1. Dates & Assessment Criteria
If the date is missing in the beginning of an OET letter , it can affect the score for the criterion ‘Organization & Layout’.
If a relevant date is missing/incorrect/misleading in the content, it can affect the score for the criterion ‘Content’.
However, date format/style is assessed under the criterion ‘Genre & Style’. As far as the date written is accurate, using a different date format should not impact the score (Genre & Style) significantly.
Here is the breakdown of the OET Assessment Criteria
How to write Recipient’s address Salutations in an OET letter Reference Line Purpose in an OET letter Closing Sentence
2. Date of the letter at the start
This indicates the date on which the letter was written. This will be given in the case notes as part of the content or as ‘Today’s date’.
Acceptable Date Format Write the date in full form at the start as that is the preferred format. Example 31st December 2022 31 December 2022
However, date format with numbers and slashes is also acceptable at the start. Example 31/12/2022 31/12/22
Try to avoid date formats comprising of numbers with periods/hyphens at the start. Example 31.12.2022 31.12.22 31-12-2022 31-12-22
NOTE: The date of the letter should be written before or after the address of the recipient (addressee). A single space should be maintained between them.
3. Date in the reference line (Re:)
The patient’s date of birth (DOB) is written in the reference line. It should be written after the patient’s full name.
Writing in the same line is preferred but in a new line (without space) is acceptable as well.
Date format with numbers and (forward) slashes is preferred in the reference line. Example DOB: 31/12/2022 31/12/22
Date in full form is acceptable in the reference line. Example DOB: 31st December 2022 DOB: 31 December 2022
Date formats comprising of numbers with periods/hyphens are also acceptable in the reference line. Example DOB: 31.12.2022 DOB: 31.12.22 DOB: 31-12-2022 DOB: 31-12-22
4. Date in the body of the letter
Dates written in body paragraphs indicate timeline of events.
Date format with numbers and (forward / ) slashes is preferred in body paragraphs. Example 31/12/2022 31/12/22
Date in full form is acceptable in in body paragraphs. (This may increase the word count) Example 31st December 2022 31 December 2022
Date formats comprising of numbers with periods/hyphens are also acceptable in in body paragraphs. Example 31.12.2022 31.12.22 31-12-2022 31-12-22
NOTE: The date formats used in the reference line and body paragraphs should be consistent.
If you make a mistake in the test and write a different date or use numbers not words, DO NOT PANIC, this cannot fail you. The assessors are looking for your understanding of letter writing convention in English. It is much more important that a date is on the letter than that the date you used is correct.
5. British or American Date Format
In OET letters, British date format is (dd/mm/yy) preferred . Example 31/12/22 or 31/12/2022
However, American date format (mm/dd/yy) is acceptable . Example 12/31/22 or 12/31/2022
Using periods/hyphens with numbers is also acceptable in the American date formats.
However, to avoid confusion, it is advisable to write the date in full form at the start (Letter Date) .
NOTE: T he date formats used in the reference line and body paragraphs should be either British or American. Avoid writing both British and American formats in the same OET letter .
6. Date formats to be avoided
Below is the list of all wrong OET letter date format. These must be avoid losing marks in any writing assessment criteria.
31 Dec 2022 2022 Dec 31 2022 December 31 31/December/2022 31/December/22 31.December.2022 31.December.22 31-December-2022 31-December-22 31\December\2022 31\December\22 (Using backward slash (\) should be avoided)
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Writing the Date
There are several different ways to write the date in English. They vary from formal to informal, and there are differences between British and American English. The following table shows some typical formats.
Note: which format to use is a question of formality, politeness and personal choice. Generally, the longer formats, such as B or C, are more polite (since they show more respect for the reader). Shorter formats, such as D or E, are used in less formal situations, for example a memo, a letter between friends or an impersonal business letter. Format F is rather official and is typically seen on an invoice or an official or technical document. Format A is extremely formal and mainly used on printed items, for example a wedding invitation. The numerical formats may use a full stop (.) or hyphen (-) instead of a slash (/), for example: 14.3.2016 or 03-14-16