When you write a date in formal writing, format the date and the punctuation properly to ensure accuracy. Although there may be times when you add an "s" after a date, unless the date shows possession, you do not need to include an apostrophe after the date. Usually, only one situation requires that you use an apostrophe after a date.
Write a sentence with a date that shows possession. For example, the sentence "Elvis Presley's movie debut was one of 1956's biggest Hollywood events" needs an apostrophe before the "s."
Follow the date with an apostrophe and an "s." For example, write "1956's."
Omit apostrophes for dates that do not show possession. For example, write, "The 1960s was a decade of change for women's fashion." In this sentence, "1960s" does not indicate possession, instead it indicates a plural number of years.
Tips & Warnings
- Some writing styles use an apostrophe and an "s" to pluralize dates as a distinction to separate the date numbers and the letter "s." Follow the specific style that pertains to your writing.
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