Numbers, measurement and currencies

Numbers

1–9—write out one, nine, (i.e. single-digit numbers); from then on the number 10, 11 etc.

If a mix of related numbers above and below nine appears in one sentence, use figures:

  • Unbelievably, only 2 of the 110 people on the train were injured.

Always start a sentence with a word:

  • Two out of 110 people were injured.

Currencies

For dollars, you can use just the $ symbol if it’s clear that it represents the local currency, but identify all other types of dollar (e.g. CAN$). When using the code and symbol, do not leave a space between the unit and quantity (e.g. US$500).

Examples of currency formats are listed below. You can also refer to the official ISO-4217 website for currency codes for all other countries.

Country Currency Symbol Currency Code
Australia Australian dollar AU$ AUD
Canada Canadian dollar CAN$ CAD
European Union euro EUR
United Kingdom pound/sterling £ GBP
United States US dollar US$ USD 

Measurement: symbols

When a number is associated with a unit of measurement, it is normally given as a digit, for example 5 volts, 3 MB. Leave a space between the figure and unit of measurement. However, the money symbol and percent symbol are always closed up. (If a currency code is used rather than a money symbol, leave a space between it and the figure.)

  • 10 MB, 20 kg, $24, 10%, USD 342 million

Abbreviated units of measurements have no full stop and take no s in the plural.

  • 10 MB, not 10 MBs

With abbreviations, capitalisation is important, for example Mb means megabits, but MB means megabytes.

Never allow the unit and amount to be separated over a new line.

Time of day

Generally, spell out even, half and quarter hours:

  • The meeting continued until half past three.
  • I’ll be there by ten o’clock.

Use figures for when you want to emphasise the exact time:

  • 6.20 a.m. (Note that in American English a colon is used between hour and minute.)

When a 24-hour clock is required, use the following style:

  • 04:00; 12:00; 15:53

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