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Writing Dates and Times

Rule: The following examples apply when using dates:

The meeting is scheduled for June 30.

The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June.

We have had tricks played on us on April 1.

The 1st of April puts some people on edge.

Rule: When expressing decades, you may spell them out and lowercase them.

Example: During the eighties and nineties, the United States economy grew.

Rule: Whether you express decades using incomplete or complete numerals, do not use an apostrophe between the year and the s. When using an incomplete numeral, use an apostrophe to replace the first two numbers.

Correct:
During the '80s, the world's economy grew.
During the 1980s, the world's economy grew.

Incorrect:
During the '80's, the world's economy grew.
During the 1980's, the world's economy grew.

Rule: Spell out the time of day in text even with half and quarter hours. With o'clock, the number is always spelled out.

Examples:
She gets up at four thirty before the baby wakes up.
The baby wakes up at five o'clock in the morning.

Rule: Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized.

Examples:
Her flight leaves at 6:22 a.m.

Please arrive by 12:30 p.m. sharp.

Rule: Use noon and midnight rather than 12:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m.

Note: You may use AM and PM rather than a.m. and p.m.

Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, we are unable to respond to individual English usage questions.


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Wordplay

When youíve seen one shopping center, youíve seen a mall.

You are stuck with your debt if you canít budget.

The short fortune teller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

 


68 One-Minute English Usage Videos

English In A Snap: 68 One-Minute English Usage Videos FREE 

Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.

 

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