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Date in a Formal letter

There is a difference when writing Date in a Formal letter between American and British English. Furthermore writing date in Europe varies among countries, in accordance with the adopted standards. In this article we will present all present practices in writing date in a formal letter among different countries.


UNITED KINGDOM (British English)

In United Kingdom, date is being written in the following format [DD Month Year], for example you should write: 31 December 2015.

When writing date in a formal letter, it should be on the top right of the letter page, a line below the address of the sender. It is also accepted to place the date on the top left corner, depending on the style of the letter you are using.


Europeans in general write formal letters similar to Brits. However when writing letters in the national languages, dates are written in a different way based on the accepted standards. So for example in much of Europe, the date is written out in DD/MM/YY format, also known as “little endian form.” So for example July 4, 2015 is written as 4/7/15.

Some of the countries have adopted the ISO standard in which date is written in the following format YYYY-M-D.  In this form, the same date is written as 2015-7-4. The most different practice is to be found in Scandinavia, Sweden where date is written in the following form: D/M ‘last two numbers of the year, so the same date is written as 4/7 ’15.

UNITED STATES (American English)

In USA it is a custom to write date in the following form : Month DD, YYYY i.e. as a July 4. 2015.  Date in a formal letter is usually written in left top corner of the page, however sometimes it can be write on the center of the page top. It is not recommended to use numerical form in writing formal letters. This is because writing full date allows recipient to understand the date even though he is not familiar with the proper format of date writing.