There are several different ways to write the date in English.
They vary from formal to informal, and there are differences between British and American English.
The following table shows some typical formats:
|A ||The Fifth of January, 2016 ||January the Fifth, 2016 |
|B ||5th January 2016 ||January 5th, 2016 |
|C ||05 January 2016 ||January 05, 2016 |
|D ||05/01/2016 ||01/05/2016 |
The format to use is a question of formality, politeness and personal choice.
Generally, the longer formats, such as B or C, are more polite (since they show more respect for the reader).
Shorter formats, such as D, are used in less formal situations, for example a memo, a letter between friends or an impersonal business letter.
Format A is extremely formal and mainly used on printed items, for example a wedding invitation.
The numerical formats may use a full stop (.) or a hyphen (-) instead of a slash (/), for example: 05.1.2016 or 01-05-16.