Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Comma after the year

Question:

Do I need to put a comma after the year when writing the date in this sentence?

The agreement was signed on November 6, 2003 (or November 6, 2003,) and will expire on September 30, 2004.

Answer:

The Canadian Style, The Canadian Press Stylebook and The Gregg Reference Manual agree that a comma is needed after the month-day-year sequence when the date appears in a sentence. For example:

He worked in my department from May 20, 2001, until October 28, 2003.

Note the use of a comma after the year. Similarly, you should write your sentence as follows:

The agreement was signed on November 6, 2003, and will expire on September 30, 2004.

But, there is no comma after the year in the month-year sequence. For example:

He worked in my department from May 2001 until October 2003.