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Korrespondenz auf Englisch - Zahlen richtig schreiben

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, Zahlen auf Englisch, Englische Zahlen, Zahlen Englisch, Zählen auf Englisch, Englisch zählen

Almost every type of business writing includes the need to write numbers. Whether you’re writing correspondence, reports or invoices, or creating presentations, brochures or Web site content, the rules are the same. The problem is that there are so many rules that even native speakers can be left in moments of serious doubt!

The number of rules doesn’t have to leave you at sixes and sevens, however. Acquainting yourself with the basics is enough to get you writing numbers properly in two shakes. We‘ll help you do that here. But getting something written is just the first step. Clearly, making a good impression requires that you follow all of the rules when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. To make this easy, we’ve created a quick guide that gives you the whole nine yards on number writing (see the following page). Keep it by your computer while you’re writing or reviewing text!

Words or Arabic figures?
In writing, a number may be represented in words (one, forty-five, three hundred and seventy-six) or by using Arabic figures (1, 45, 376).

In British English, you should use words for all numbers less than 100 in non-technical writing (including zero for 0). In technical writing, you should use words for all numbers less than 10.

Americans use words for all numbers less than 10 regardless of the type of material being written. This rule is widely accepted by the British in business as well, and is the rule we follow at OBET:

Please purchase two.

Please purchase 10.

The account balance was zero.

When writing words for numbers between 21 and 99, always use a hyphen:

twenty-two, eighty-seven, ninety-one

Ordinal numbers
Ordinal numbers should be written out with these same rules in mind:

first, second, third, 10 th, 11 th, 12 th, 13 th, 21 st or first, second, third, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, twenty-first

If your word processor automatically converts th to th, don’t worry. Both are acceptable.

Exceptions to the rules
If that’s all you needed to know, writing numbers in English would be easy and we wouldn’t need to dedicate two pages to the subject. Whether words or figures should be used is often a matter of how the number is being used. Is it a measurement, for example, or part of an address? Clear and easy rules for such usage are presented on the next page.

Some rules vary, however, depending on the meaning or on how the sentence is constructed:

At the beginning of a sentence, title or heading
If a number is the first element in a sentence, title or heading, it must be written with words. Because doing this with large numbers can make your text difficult to read, it’s usually better in this case to rephrase things to allow for the use of figures:

Three thousand four hundred and seventy eight people attended the event.


There were 3,478 people at the event...

Consistent references
Within a single sentence, if you use figures to represent a number in a comparison, relationship or series, then all other related references should be written similarly:

Please print 120 copies of the report for sales and 9 for marketing.

Incorrect: Please print 120 copies of the report for sales and nine for marketing.

Three of the 400 surveyed people did not respond to the question.

Better: Of the 400 people surveyed, 3 did not respond to the question.

Presentation slides 8 and 12.

I ordered 3 laptops, not 30!

I ordered three laptops, not eight!

This rule does not apply when the numbers are unrelated:

I printed 140 copies of the sales report and nine copies of our current business plan.

Writing large numbers
The simplest way to represent a large number is usually the best, but remember that you must keep references consistent within each sentence.

The CEO earns between one million and three million euros, depending on his bonuses.

The CEO’s bonus falls between €500 and €1,000,000, depending on his results.

Use a comma to punctuate large numbers in groups of three:

1,000    45,000    1,234,567

Indian currency
Sums of money in Indian currency are punctuated differently to help make it easier to manage the large numbers of rupees (Rs) that may need to be written. For example, 54 crore, 30 lakh, 15,000 rupees and 34 paise would be written as Rs 54,30,15,000.34.

Übersicht: Zahlen auf Englisch schreiben

Names and addresses

Use words for ordinal numbers in names and addresses. Use figures otherwise. Exception: ordinal street names (but not avenue names) in Manhattan are written using figures.

221b Baker St. 666 Fifth Avenue

10 Downing Street 433 E 82nd St.

Third World 10 Greensborough Parkway

Dates are written using figures: The director’s meeting was on May 3.

In North America, the month comes first: January 13, 2003. In Europe, the day comes first: 13 January, 2003. The short format of dates using a solidus or full stop (8/12/2003) should be avoided when readers may be on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, this date is in December. In North America, it’s in August.

Commas are put around the year: The board met on 18 January, 2003. On 18 January, 2003, the board met for the first time.

Use a full stop (BE) or colon (AE) for times of day. In British English, words are often used for times that are whole, half or quarter hours, but are not required. Do not use hyphens in times written in words. Use figures when a.m., p.m., AM and PM (without full stops) are used. In American English, words are never used for clock times. Avoid using phrases like “half ten”, which can be confusing.

8.30 a.m. 23.00 hours 10 p.m. ten o’clock   12:15 PM 8:45 p.m. ten fifteen eleven thirty twelve forty five

Figures are always used when you wish to emphasise an exact time: We close promptly at 5.30 p.m. Please arrive by 8.30 a.m. sharp.

Measurements and values
Use figures for measurements, distances, speeds, percentages, quantities, mathematical formulas, decimal values, statistics, etc.

We ordered 300 packages. Sales are up 30% over the third quarter. 3’ 12” 25 cm 36 miles 75 m.p.h. multiplied by 7

For decimal values less than 1.0, start with a leading 0 unless the number must always mathematically be less than one: 0.45 r < .45

For numbers greater than 1.0, use a full stop for the decimal and punctuate at the thousands using a comma. Commas are not used to the right of the decimal. 1.56 100.56 1,000.56 10,000.56 100,000.56 1,000,000.567432

One variation of the comma rule is to limit the use of commas to values less than 10,000. Greater values are instead punctuated on both sides of the full stop with a single space:
1 000 000.56 0.147 349 12 000.123 456

Spell out simple fractions in text: one-half, two-thirds, three-quarters, one and three-quarters. Use a solidus (/) to create all other fractions using figures: 43/100 47/64 of the revenue

Use single-character fractions only in statistical text: ¼ ½ ¾.

Content organisation numbers
Use figures for volume, chapter, section, page, act, scene and line numbers. See Section 3.1.6. Volume III, Section 5, page 7. Act III, Scene 2, lines 40-50.

Phone Numbers
Place 00 or + before the country code and a space after it. Use a space to punctuate the number so that it is meaningful or easy to read. Do not use a comma, solidus or brackets. When providing multiple numbers from the same country, format them in the same way.

+49 711 1234 5678 00 49 711 1234 5678

+33 34 567 78923 +33 34 567 78924

Large numbers
It is traditional to round large numbers when the exact numbers aren’t important. Instead of writing “24,018 of our customers have purchased a platinum membership” write “over 24,000”. Use words like “some”, “an estimated”, “approximately”, “nearly”, “more than”, “over” or “about”.

Use an en rule (AE en dash) in ranges constructed with figures. Do not use spaces on either side of the en rule: On pages 34– 59. Be exact to avoid confusion: “It holds 1,000–2,000 litres of water” is different than “It holds 1–2,000 litres of water”.

Plurals and decades
Plurals (including decades) are formed by adding an “s” or “ies” without an apostrophe: in the 1980s, in the eighties, in the 80s, the temperature has been in the 90s every day this month

When a measurement is combined with a number to form a hyphenated adjective before a noun, the measurement retains its singular form:

a nine-gallon tank (not a nine-gallons tank)

a 100-gallon tank a 1,000-litre tank

Billion and Trillion
In the USA and in Britain, a billion is a thousand million (109) (eine Milliarde). Likewise, a trillion is a million million (1012) (eine Billion ). In Germany, eine trillion is a million million million, so be careful. Consider using figures if it gets too complex.

Use the degree symbol at the end of each temperature or range, and use a single space between the degree symbol and the measurement:

35° F 15–35° C

Currency values may be written using words or figures, depending on the context.

Use figures unless the value is small and the amount appears in flowing text. When using figures, currency values are punctuated like decimal values. The currency symbol comes first with no space before the first number. Million (m.) and billion (b.) follow the number and are preceded by a space. 00 should be used after the decimal point only when a value is being compared with other values with non-00 amounts. Values less than one, when not being compared with greater values, use the symbols for pence (p) and cents (¢, c) following the value and without a space or full stop.

The original price of $15.00 has been increased to $15.75. The price is €15. The revenue for last quarter was £2.5 m. for the London office and £4 m. for the Berlin office. Each costs only 75p. Our products cost between $0.75 and $15.75.

Round amounts of money may be written out in text with the currency following the amount: thirteen pounds, twenty-five francs

If the same currency is used in various countries, consider using the country abbreviation before the currency symbol without a space: HK$1,500

Currency market symbols may be used instead before the amount with a separating space. The currency symbol itself is not used: GBP 1,500 USD 1,500 EUR 1,500

Use words when it is necessary to be very exact for legal reasons. Use commas between thousands and the word “and” for the decimal. The amount in figures can be added for quick reference: the sum of three thousand, four hundred and twenty-three dollars and forty-three cents ($3,423.43).

Road numbers
Use figures for the numbers of roads, even if the number is a formal name:

M25, Route 66, Highway 35, Interstate 95

Figures are used in lists of four or more numbers:

We drew the numbers 1, 30, 567 and 34.

Compound formations
Mix figures and words to add clarity to complex number combinations. In this situation, use figures when creating hyphenated adjectives using other words, but remember that long numbers may be clearer with figures.

The software contains two 3-part modules.

We ran thirty-five 72-step tests.

We ran one hundred 72-step tests.

We ran 12,500 72-step tests.

Widely accepted phrases

The Fourth of July

The Ten Commandments

Schlagwörter: Korrespondenz auf Englisch, Zahlen auf Englisch, Englische Zahlen, Zahlen Englisch, Zählen auf Englisch, Englisch zählen

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