Note: These rules apply unless you are quoting a source that does otherwise. Particular academic fields (for example, statistics) may have their own guidelines.
As a general rule, you should write low numbers (ten and below) in words and larger numbers (11 and above) in figures. However, round numbers are usually spelled out (twenty, thirty, forty, from one thousand to five million).
Only nine students applied for the job
Only 9 students applied for the job
There were eight students and two lecturers
There were 8 students and two lecturers
There were 85 students in the lecture hall
There were eighty-five students in the…
With hundred and thousand you have the choice of using figures or words – but you should aim to be consistent. Million and billion may be combined with figures: 2.5 million, 3 million, 31 billion.
Note: The best way to express large numbers is the simplest way.
300 people / three hundred people
3 hundred people
EUR 3,000 / three thousand euros
EUR 3 thousand
Do not start a sentence with a figure or a symbol followed by a figure. Either write the number out in full or, if this doesn’t work, change the word order of the sentence:
Ninety-nine per cent of the population were…
99% of the population were…
The fact is that 99 per cent of the population…
The fact is that ninety-nine per cent of the…
Twenty professors from around the world were…
20 professors from around the world were…
Use commas to separate thousands (4,000,000) and full stops to separate fractions (3,000.5 or 2.5 million)
Note: Opposite of Danish usage!
The number pi begins with 3.1415926
The number pi begins with 3,1415926
His annual salary is DKK 444,500.59
His annual salary is DKK 444.500,59
Numbers that do not take commas:
As a rule, use figures with units of measurement that are denoted by symbols or abbreviations.
If you choose to spell out the measure, the numbers do not also have to be spelled out but may be written with figures:
two hundred and fifty/250 kilowatts
five/5 degrees Celsius
With measures denoted by symbols (£ $ € % ºC ), there should be no space between the symbol and the number. But with measures denoted by abbreviations (DKK/EUR/mm/kWh/km/h), there should be space between the measure and number.
Use the official currency codes in official and academic contexts (press releases about research grants, reports etc.)
In less formal contexts, write ‘kroner’ (abbreviated ‘kr.’) or 'euros'. Do not capitalise ‘euro’ or ‘dollars’ or any other currency.
She owes me 45 euros.
Consider converting DKK to EUR (or another currency, depending on your audience) in contexts in which your audience can’t be assumed to have an accurate sense of the value of our local currency.
In texts for a general audience/non-scientific texts, you should write out the percentage symbol as per cent (British spelling).
Fifty-three per cent of the students were female.
The department has managed to reduce costs by 27 per cent.
In texts that contain a lot of statistics, tables, sums, etc. it makes more sense to use the symbol (%).
Domestic revenue increased 12% for the year to $4.6 billion, and domestic operating cash flow grew 11% to $1.1 billion.
Note: There should be no space between the symbol and the number.
In Danish, the symbol § most often refers to a section in an act of law or ministerial order (lovparagraf). (Note that paragraf is translated ‘clause’ in treaties, by-laws and collective agreements, and that the symbol § also refers to a clause in a contract).
Danish: ...jf. Universitetslovens § 4, stk. 3...
English: ...pursuant to section 4(3) of the University Act...
Do not repeat the symbol if the unit of measurement does not change.
If the symbol or abbreviation changes, however, leave a blank space on either side of the dash.
100 kW – 40 MW
900 KB – 2 MB
900 KB–2 MB
Note: Do not leave space between the symbol and the number or the dash and the numbers. Use an unspaced en dash to separate the two elements in the range. See Dashes for a more general discussion of the types of dashes and their uses.
When a range is written out, you should write from … to / between … and instead of inserting a dash. You should repeat symbols and multiples (i.e. thousand, million, etc.):
from EUR 20 million to EUR 30 million
from EUR 20–30 million
between 10°C and 70°C
Always spell out simple fractions and hyphenate them.
One-half of the pies have been eaten.
Insert hyphens in fractions used as adverbs or adjectives. Don't hyphenate noun forms.
two-thirds completed (adverb)
a one-third increase (adjective)
an increase of two thirds (noun)
Two-thirds of the students completed the paper on time. (noun)
Write out fractions in combination with words.
In English, the decimal fractions are separated by points – in contrast to Danish decimal commas.
Remember that the date comes before the month in British English (dd/mm/yyyy).
16 September 2013
September 16th 2013
Always write a simple figure for the day followed by the month (spelt out in official/formal contexts), and do not separate the day, month and year with commas.
23 July 1997
23rd of July 1997
Thursday 24 December 2012
Thursday, December 24th, 2012
The semester commences on Monday 1 September 2014
The semester commences on Monday the 1st of September, 2014
Use all four digits when referring to specific years (i.e. 1997 not ’97) and always spell out the month. However, in footnotes, itineraries, etc. where space is at a premium, the month can be written as a number (07/08/2012). Please be aware that this format can potentially be very confusing for Americans, who write the month before the date.
Non-Danish speakers do not normally divide up the year into numbered weeks. Instead of ‘week 38’, you should write ‘the week commencing 16 September’ or ‘w/c 16 Sept' unless you are absolutely certain your readers are familiar with the Danish convention.
If the year in question is absolutely clear from the context, the year may be left out.
On 23 July 2001, the department did this ... but subsequently on 2 August, it did something else.
When referring to decades, don’t include an apostrophe before the final ‘s’ (see Apostrophes).
the 1990s,1970s, 1980s
the 1990’s,1970’s, 1980’s
As a rule, you should write centuries out in full:
In the nineteenth century
21st century cars are hard to imagine.
Do not start a sentence with a figure. Either write the number out in full or change the word order of the sentence.
Twenty-first century cars are ugly
Cars of the 21st century are ugly
21st century cars are ugly
Use an unspaced en dash to denote a time range.
In running text, you should write out date ranges.
From 1990 to 1995 he was employed at …
between 1990 and 1995
1990 to 1995 inclusive
In lists, resumes, etc. it makes sense to use a dash to denote the range instead of writing it out. For the second figure, you should not repeat the century if it is the same, but you should always include the decade:
The 24-hour clock (military time) is generally easier for non-native speakers of English to understand than the 12-hour clock. For this reason, we recommend that you avoid using pm and am in AU-related texts as a general rule, particularly in conference programmes, schedules and meeting agendas.
Write times with a colon between hours and minutes, without adding hrs, am/pm or o’clock.
The meeting starts at 14:00
The meeting starts at 2 o’clock
The lecture starts at 10:00
The lecture starts at 10 am
The movie didn’t end until 23:00
The movie didn’t end until 11 pm