Skip to main content

6.1 The general rule

Heads Up Spell out the numbers one through nine. For 10 and above, use numerals.

There are a number of exceptions that always require numerals:

  • measurements that use abbreviations or symbols
  • percentages that include decimals - 3.2 per cent
  • combined whole numbers and fractions
  • currency

Heads Up Although it should be avoided, a number used to start a sentence is always spelled out.

6.2 With four or more digits

In numbers with four or more digits, commas are used to separate three-digit groups except for house numbers, phone numbers, years and other serial numbers.

  • 1,000 not 1000

Avoid using too many zeros.

  • 554.6 billion

6.3 Money

Use numerals to represent currency with the appropriate symbols. There is no space between the symbol and the numeral.

  • $8.99

Very large currency amounts can be written using a combination of numerals and words with the currency symbol but do not use $ and the word dollars.

  • $9.34 million, not $9.34 million dollars

6.4 Fractions

Avoid using full-sized numerals separated by a slash to express fractions. Use fraction characters (or superscript/subscript) instead.

  • 4¾ not 4-3/4

PC Alt + 0188 for ¼; Alt + 0189 for ½; Alt + 0190 for ¾
Using MS Word with autocorrect enabled:
type numerator / denominator, then space or enter.

Mac Find the fraction characters in the character palette under digits.

Spell out simple fractions that are not mixed numbers. Hyphenate only when the fraction is considered a single quantity.

  • His kick carried the ball more than one-third the length of the field.

6.5 Percentages

Heads Up Percentages should always be expressed in numerals followed by "per cent." In text that includes numerous references to percentages, the symbol % is acceptable with no space between the number and the symbol.

6.6 Number ranges

Use an en dash (slightly longer than a hyphen) between two numbers to indicate "up to and including" or "through."

  • The information is found on pages 113–126.

For number ranges preceded by "from" or "between," use "to" or "through" and "and" respectively.

  • from 1947 to 1949
  • between 100 and 150

6.7 Telephone numbers

The following is university style for telephone numbers with the long-distance prefix.

  • (306) 966-6607

Use dashes for toll-free numbers.

  • 1-800-966-6610

Use ext. to express extensions.

6.8 School grades

  • Grade 7, but seventh grade

Legend

Icons

Heads up  A "heads-up" icon alerts you to common style issues.

Check This  Watch for "Check this out" icons to point you to more information.

Rule of Thumb  We've put together a few handy and easy-to-remember tips.

PC Mac  Some punctuation characters mentioned in the style guide (such as the en-dash) are in the extended character set. This means these characters cannot be found on your keyboard, but you can type in key codes to retrieve them. We have included the common keystrokes for both Mac and PC.