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Writing Numbers

Date: 11/24/2002 at 23:17:03
From: Jeff Allen
Subject: Rules for writing dollars on checks

I saw an example question/answer of yours on this topic, but it did 
not give the specific rules. Is it correct to use "and" anywhere in 
the dollar amount prior to the cents part ("and" xx/100)?  For 
example, "one thousand and one."  Which words are okay to capitalize 
and when are hyphens used between words? All of the Web sites I have 
seen just say write out the dollars in words.

Thanks, Jeff Allen


Date: 11/25/2002 at 08:54:24
From: Doctor Peterson
Subject: Re: Rules for writing dollars on checks

Hi, Jeff.

I presume you are referring to

   Writing Checks
   http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/61101.html 

The links there give at least some examples. The following page gives 
some basic rules for writing numbers in general:

   Written Form of Decimals
   http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/58968.html 

It is common to use "and" in "wrong" places, so I can't say it's 
absolutely forbidden, but it is best to use "and" only to represent 
the decimal point:

   Saying Numbers Out Loud
   http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57225.html 

I don't think capitalization matters on a check (the examples I 
mentioned vary in that regard), but in ordinary writing I would only 
capitalize the beginning of a sentence, of course.

Hyphens are used between "tens" and "ones," as in

  59,325 = fifty-nine thousand, three hundred twenty-five
                ^                                   ^
                |                                   |
  between tens and ones of thousands      between tens and ones

Here is a page I found on how to write numbers that makes the rules 
fairly explicit:

  Writing Numbers - The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation
  http://www.grammarbook.com/grammar/numbers.html 

  Rule 9. When writing large numbers of five or more digits, use a
  comma where the comma would appear in the figure format. Use the
  word _and_ only where the decimal point appears in the figure
  format.

    Example
    $1054.21 (One thousand fifty-four dollars and twenty-one cents)
    $15,768.13 (Fifteen thousand, seven hundred sixty-eight dollars
    and thirteen cents)

  Rule 11. Hyphenate all compound numbers from twenty-one through
  ninety-nine.

    Example
    Forty-three people were injured in the train wreck.

  Rule 12. Do not hyphenate one hundred, two hundred, etc.


If you have any further questions, feel free to write back.

- Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ 


Date: 11/25/2002 at 17:17:57
From: Jeff Allen
Subject: Thank you (Rules for writing dollars on checks)

Dr. Math,
Thank you very much for the timely and comprehensive response. 
It contains exactly the information I was looking for. I really 
appreciate it.

Jeff Allen
Associated Topics:
Elementary Number Sense/About Numbers
Middle School Number Sense/About Numbers

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