Reading DATES in English

Oliveira   Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:11 pm GMT
Hi everybody,

I was wondering what the right way of saying dates in English is.
As far as I know, the difference between American and British English is the information order. BrE: day/month/year and in AmE: month/day/year.
My question is both about how you write and say it.
What's the correct form?

1. April 4 2006 OR April 4th 2006 (in AmE)

2. 4 April 2006 OR 4th April 2006 (in BrE)

3. And how do you actually say it? I've heard that some people use cardinal numbers instead of using ordinal ones in speech. E.g.: April four two thousand six AND NOT April fourth two thousand six.
Which is the most common/right way?

Are cardinal numbers ever used?
Should beginners use ordinal numbers right from the beginning of their English learning process, or it is OK if they use cardinal numbers and even though they will be understood?

I'm looking forward to receiving your answers.

Thanks in Advance.
Uriel   Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:15 pm GMT
In AmE: April fourth, two thousand six, would be how I'd say it.

But when not READING it off, it is also common to say the fourth of April. The way of writing the date is a standard convention, but people aren't limited to that order in ordinary speech.
Oliveira   Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:22 pm GMT
Ok, so you wouldn't use cardinal numbers.
And in writing? April 4 or 4th?

What about for other numbers like 15, 18, 27. Would you always say them like fifteenTH, eighteenTH and twenty-sevenTH in dates?
Uriel   Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:29 pm GMT
In writing, it is more common to just write the number. You would most likely still SAY fourth, fifteenth, eighteenth, twenty-seventh, etc., though.

When British people (or others -- it's not fair but we often tend to be lazy and use "British" to encompass the entire commonwealth -- my apologies!) write 4 April, if I'm not mistaken I think they generally SAY "the fourth of April". (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) So written dates don't always match up with what comes out of your mouth!
Benny   Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:30 pm GMT
In writing you can pretty much write it any way you want. I've seen both the ways you've written it above used as well as 15/04/2006 or 15/04/06 or 15/4/06 etc. 'th' and no 'th' both work.

When speaking there is always a 'th' sound on the end of the number, except 1, 2, and 3. Which are 1st (first), 2nd (second), and 3rd (third).
Benny   Tue Apr 04, 2006 5:33 pm GMT
- I think they generally SAY "the fourth of April".

Yep. Unless we say "April fourth". Just depends on the person mostly and some people change how they say it from day to day, depending on context, mood, or just what comes out of their mouth first (the month or the day).
Candy   Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:22 pm GMT
I say 'the fourth of April, two thousand and six' but write '4 April'. (I'm British)
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:45 pm GMT
Date: Fourth of April twenty -o- six.

BST (British Summer Time - ha!) Time: Nineteen forty five/ seven forty five / quarter to eight / fifteen minutes to eight

We've been here before........
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:47 pm GMT
04 April 2006

The sixth of June will be the same all round: 06/06/06
Benny   Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:28 pm GMT
"The sixth of June will be the same all round: 06/06/06"

Cha! Unless you write 06/06/2006, or 6/6/06, or 06/6/06. Nya. U get my meaning. I'm only pulling ur leg. On the 06/06/06 I think I'll prob make a point of writing it 06/06/06.
Benjamin   Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:44 pm GMT
I'm British and I would usually say either 'the fourth of April' or 'April the fourth'. I always have a 'the' in there somewhere.
american nic   Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:16 am GMT
I actually write it like 4 April 2006, but that's definitely NOT standard American...but I usually would say April fourth...unless it was July fourth, in which case I think everyone says fourth of July...wonder why that is...
Uriel   Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:18 am GMT
Makes it sound grander, I guess. July fourth would be just another day.
Damian in Edinburgh   Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:57 am GMT it's the Fifth of April!...start of a new tax year in the UK ;-(

Yankee Doodle Dandy himself says he was born on the Fourth of July
(have your sound system swithedon):
Damian in Edinburgh   Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:00 am GMT
switched on - not swithedon...swithedon is crap and never works