How To Write Numbers in Full

by Craig Shrives

Writing Numbers in Full

writing numbers in full words

(Point 1) Hyphenate all numbers between 21-99 less those divisible by 10.

When writing numbers in full, hyphenate all numbers between 21 and 99 (except 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90) regardless of where they appear in the number. For example:
  • 51 (fifty-one )
  • 234 (two hundred thirty-four )
  • 450 (four hundred fifty )
  • (Do not hyphenate numbers divisible by 10, e.g., 20, 30, 40.)
  • 25,223 (twenty five thousand two hundred twenty three )
  • ("Twenty five" and "twenty three" should be hyphenated.)
Read more about hyphens and dashes between numbers.

(Point 2) Do not use "and" in whole numbers.

The word "and" is not written with whole numbers. You might say "four hundred and fifty," but do not write the "and." For example:
  • 3,567 (three thousand five hundred and sixty-seven )
  • 3,567 (three thousand five hundred sixty-seven )

(Point 3) Use "and" for the decimal point.

Use "and" before expressing the numbers after a decimal point. For example:
  • $3,567.65 (three thousand five hundred sixty-seven dollars and sixty-five cents )
  • 234.2 (two hundred thirty-four and two tenths )
  • 44,120.42 (forty-four thousand one hundred twenty and forty-two hundredths )

(Point 4) Do not use commas.

Do not use commas when writing numbers out in full.
  • 44,120 (forty-four thousand, one hundred twenty )
  • 44,120 (forty-four thousand one hundred twenty )

Points to Note

Writing "And"

Avoiding "and" when writing numbers in full is largely an American convention. Those following British writing conventions tend to use "and." For example:
  • 3,567 (three thousand five hundred and sixty-seven )
  • 3,567 (three thousand five hundred and sixty-seven )
The rule to avoid "and" in the US is so strong that many will take "one hundred and one" to mean 100.1 as opposed to 101.

"Forty" Not "Fourty"

The number 40 is spelt forty and not fourty.

There Is No "a" between 1 and 999

Interestingly, if you avoid "and" (as is the US convention) and start writing out the whole numbers from zero upwards, you will reach 1000 before you use the letter "a."

More Points to Note

Write As Simply As Possible

Is there a better way to express your large number? Usually, the simplest way is best.
  • 2,400 (twenty-four hundred)
  • 2,400 (two thousand four hundred)
  • (These are both correct, but the top one is easier to read. Try to help your readers.)

Avoid Numbers the Start of Sentences

If your sentence starts with a number, write it out in full. For example:
  • 71 people attended the meeting.
  • (This is not wrong, but it's untidy.)
  • Seventy-one people attended the meeting.
If your number is long, reword your sentence. For example:
  • 23,465 people attended the concert.
  • (This is not wrong, but it's untidy.)
  • Twenty-three thousand four hundred sixty-five people attended the concert.
  • (This is unwieldy and untidy.)
Here are some options:
  • Precisely 23,465 people attended the concert.
  • More than 23,400 people attended the concert.
  • According to the organizers, 23,465 people attended the concert.
  • The concert was attended by 23,465 people.
Read more about starting sentences with numbers.
Read about using numbers as adjectives and writing fractions in words.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

Hyphens in compound adjectives Numbers as compound adjectives Starting sentences with numbers