How to write numbers

How to write numbers

Words or numerals

In words from one to nine and in numerals from 10 onwards. Exceptions:

  • Chapter 1
  • Grade 2
  • Fractions: 3.4 or 8½
  • Age groups: 2-3 years old
  • Dialogue: “I turned twenty-three.”
  • In fiction: She was twenty-three when…
  • Numbers next to each other: 50 ten-metre poles
  • At the beginning of a sentence: Two hundred and twenty people attended the event.

Thousand separators

  • Use commas as thousand separators: 10,000 – 125,374 – 94,267,000
  • Write numbers in millions and billions in a combination of words and figures: 43.2 million – 3.5 billion

Number ranges

  • From 1989 to 2002
  • Between 35 and 40
  • Pages 15-37

Hyphens in numbers

  • Twenty-one (21)
  • Two hundred and fifty-four (254)
  • Three thousand four hundred and fifty-seven (3,457)
  • Twenty-five thousand seven hundred and eighty-two (25,782)
  • Fifty-two million two hundred and ninety-seven thousand three hundred and fifty-two (52,297,352)

Percentages and fractions with a full stop

13.4% (use either % sign or write out per cent – be consistent)

Amounts have no space after the denomination

  • C$100 or US$100 or €100 or £100
  • In continuous text use the word “dollar” – all lowercase
  • Only write C$10,000.50 if there are cents; without cents write C$10,000

Measurements

  • Add a space before km, kg, or pm: 5 km, 2 kg, 6 pm
  • And no plurals: 200 km not kms

Time

Since the 24-hour clock format is used in French-speaking Canada, it is the preferred option also for English-speaking Canadians. Choose one option and stick with it throughout a document:

  • 9:30 and 18:00
  • 9:30 am and 6 pm

Telephone and fax numbers

  • Locally: 819-555-5555
  • Internationally: +1 819 555 5555

Dates

Whichever format you prefer, be consistent:

  • 30 January 2020 (this format has wider international recognition)
  • January 30, 2020 (this format is widely used in the U.S.)
  • Numeric dates always: 2020-01-30

© Andrea Paulsen