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Spell out one to nine in full and use figures for numbers 10 and above:

He got the paper two weeks ago, but has five others to read first.

She took 10 dresses and 17 pairs of shoes to the charity shop.

This goes out of the window if you have numbers both above and below nine in the same sentence. In this case, use figures throughout:

This book is aimed at 8 to 11-year-olds.

Likewise, only ever use figures in tables. You can also use them in headlines or quotes if you don't have much space, or on posters showing statistics:

Number 1 in the UK

Don’t start a sentence or headline with digits:

Nineteen schools or faculties now hold Athena Swan awards

Large numbers

Write out thousand, million, billion and trillion for people or animals. Write one to nine in full and a mix of figures and words for 10 or over:

seven million llamas

11 thousand students

But write "m", "bn" and "trn" for sums of money, units or inanimate objects:

10tn cells

45m tonnes of coal

Never use "k" for thousand – write it out in full or in figures:

10,000 doses of vaccine

Use commas (with no spaces) to punctuate large numbers:


More guidance to help you nail your numbers:




Phone numbers and addresses


Weights and measures