A Missed Date with Commas

Where do you put commas when writing out the date? Commas with dates can be a little confusing because comma use changes according to how the date is written. Perhaps this little dialogue will demonstrate.

“I’m going on a date with Lisa,” Bob said.
“Oh, when are you going?” Tom asked.
March 14.”
“Really?” Tom asked again. “What year?”
“What do you mean, what year? In 2012!” Bob said, indignant.
“So you’re going in March 2012?”
“Yes, on the 14th!”
“Let me see if I understand,” Tom said.”On March 14, 2012, you’re going on a date with Lisa.”
“That’s what I said! Not January 2012. Not February 2012. March 2012!”
March 14, 2012, you and Lisa are going on a date?”
Bob got mad at Tom’s persistent questions. “What are you getting at, Tom?”
“Will you answer one more question first, Bob?”
“What?”
“You do realize, don’t you, that March 14, 2012, has already passed?”

One quick note about these examples: The dates in this dialogue follow American English conventions, with month, day, and year. Other countries use different systems, such as day, month, and year (example: 14 March, 2012).

Now, to explain:

1. Month and Year only = no comma

2. Month and Day only = no comma

3. Month and Day and Year = commas around the year (before and after). This follows Zen Comma Rule AC: Put commas around the year with the month and day are included.

I hope this helps!

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