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5.11 Money

Sums of money are usually expressed in numerals, except when they refer to round or indefinite amounts or are used in a formal or legal context:

  • $5.98/m2
  • a fare of 75¢
  • a few thousand dollars
  • a twenty-dollar bill
  • Payments shall be made in equal instalments of two hundred and thirty dollars per month.

Use the following forms:

  • 65¢ or $0.65 or 65 cents not $.65 or .65¢
  • two million dollars or $2 million or $2 000 000 or $2,000,0001
  • a two-million dollar loan
  • $100 not $100. or $100.00 (when standing alone)
  • five dollars or $5 not 5 dollars
  • $5 worth or five dollars’ worth

The abbreviations B for billion, M for million and K for thousand are often encountered, especially in newspaper headlines. Avoid them in formal writing. Note that there is no space between the numeral and the letter:

  • Foreign aid reduced by $5B in budget

When dollar amounts are used with SI symbols, the following forms are required:

  • $11.50/m2 not $11.50/square metre
  • $3.99/kg not 3.99/kilogram or $3.99/kilo
  • 98¢/L not 98¢ per litre

Place the dollar sign before the numeral in question.

For representation of dollar amounts in Canadian and other currencies, see 5.26 Other considerations.