Writing about money can require being very detailed or being very general. Where detail is important, it is best to write numerals. However, when we have a very large number that can be approximated, we may write out part of the number.

Describing amounts of money – specific

Common error: The difference between the two approaches was ninety-one dollars per person.

Fixed: The difference between the two approaches was $91 per person.

Describing amounts of money – large or approximate

Hard to read: The estimated budget was $27,002,113.

Hard to read: The estimated budget was around $27,000,000

Easy to read: The estimated budget was around $27 million.

When describing monetary amounts, always make sure to specify the units and use the appropriate conventions. For example, $345 could refer to American dollars, Hong Kong dollars, Singapore dollars and so forth. Thus, for the first use in the paper, it is best to specify which currency will be used throughout the paper.

Most currencies write the number first and then the unit, but this is not universal, so check the convention for the currency you are referring to.

  • British currency example: This intervention would cost about £5m.
  • American currency example: This intervention would cost about $10m USD.
  • Hong Kong currency example: This intervention would cost about HK$77m.
  • Turkish currency example: This intervention would cost about 36m liras.

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