Services publics et Approvisionnement Canada
Symbole du gouvernement du Canada

Avis important

L’outil The Canadian Style a été archivé et ne sera plus mis à jour jusqu’à son retrait définitif.

Pour obtenir notre contenu le plus à jour, veuillez consulter Writing Tips Plus, un outil combinant le contenu des outils Writing Tips et The Canadian Style. N’oubliez pas de modifier vos favoris!

Rechercher dans

5.04 Initial numbers

Spell out a number—or the word number—when it occurs at the beginning of a sentence, as well as any related numbers that closely follow it:

  • Three hundred persons were expected, but only twenty-three showed up.
  • Number 6 was the last in the series; there was no number 7.

Where this would result in a cumbersome construction, recast the sentence. The first sentence above could be rewritten as

  • A crowd of 300 was expected, but only 23 showed up.

To avoid starting with a number, it may be possible to end the preceding sentence with a semicolon or to punctuate in some other manner. Instead of writing

  • But that was now in the past. 1994 was another year.

you could insert a semicolon after past or write ". . . in the past, and 1994 . . . ."

In accordance with 5.10 Quantities and measures, a number followed by a unit of measurement may have to be written in numerals. Thus, to avoid using numerals at the start of a sentence, rewrite

  • 18.3 cm/s was the best result we could obtain.


  • A result of 18.3 cm/s was the best we could obtain.


  • Eighteen point three . . .