Avoid this if you can. If you do use it, do so without punctuation.


For example
NB Everyone should learn to love the apostrophe.



can be used to abbreviate ‘number’ where appropriate.


none the less

is three words, but nevertheless is one.



Spell out numbers zero to nine. Use figures for 10 and upwards. Try not to start a sentence with a number. Where this can’t be avoided, write the number in words, whether it’s above or below 10.


For example


Correct Incorrect
The office contained 24 desks. The office contained twenty-four desks.
Twenty-four desks were in the office. 24 desks were in the office.


For an exception to this rule, see the section on ages.

Other exceptions are numbered lists, and numbers written in tables, where figures can be used throughout, whether the number is above or below 10.


When writing a number greater than 1,000, use a comma to separate how many thousands you are referred to. For example, ‘Last year, over 700,000 young people learnt first aid skills thanks to our work,’ and ‘£13,000 donated to St John Ambulance will go a long way to helping us fulfil our aims’.


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