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TalencentrumOnderdeel van Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


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TalencentrumVertalen en corrigerenStyle GuideGeneralNumbers



If a number appears as the first word in a sentence, always write it out in full.


  • Ten people were interviewed

  • Forty-six per cent of the voting public agreed with the decision


If this results in a cumbersome sentence, see whether changing the word order resolves the issue.


  • One hundred and three people were interviewed by the advertising agency. » The advertising agency interviewed 103 people


The words ‘figure’ and ‘number’ are both used to talk about statistical data generally.


  • The figures/numbers in the results need to be interpreted critically


There is no final ‘s’ on hundred/thousand/million used in whole numbers:


  • There are six million sheep on the island
  • But: thousands of people fled as a result of the drought


Always use numerals with abbreviations or symbols:


  • 50 gm (= 50 grams)
  • 30° (= 30 degrees)


For large numbers, use a combination of numerals separated by a point (full stop) and words:


  • 4.5 million
  • 36 billion


Express related numbers in the same style:


  • ... only 5 of the 250 delegates were present.
  • ... exactly 3 tractors and 129 trucks.
  • ... the costs rose from 1 billion to 1.2 billion.
Last modified:15 September 2017 9.00 p.m.