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How to Write Millions

How to properly mix words and numbers.

By
Mignon Fogarty
October 4, 2010

How to Write Millions

  by Mignon Fogarty

Different style guides will suggest different ways to write certain kinds of numbers.

A common way to write big numbers such as millions, billions, or trillions is to use a mix of numerals and words:

  • Approximately 82.5 million women are mothers in the United States.
  • Police said thieves escaped with 1.2 million blank checks.

When the number before the word "million" or "billion" is a big round number or less than 100, it depends on which style guide you follow:

Chicago Manual of Style Recommendation

  • Disney has sold more than four million movies through iTunes.
  • Ukraine harvested thirty-four million tons of grain.
  • More than three hundred million people live in the United States.

Associated Press Recommendation

  • Disney has sold more than 4 million movies through iTunes.
  • Ukraine harvested 34 million tons of grain.
  • More than 300 million people live in the United States.

Always check your style guide when you're unsure how to write numbers.

 

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