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Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

litre, liter, L (litre)

Litre is the recommended spelling in Canada for the name of this measurement of liquid volume; liter is the American spelling.

  • I used three litres of red wine in the sangria.

The symbol is an upper case L, without a period. Leave a full space between the quantity and the symbol L.

  • If 1 L of gasoline costs $0.85, how many litres can Nassim get for $20?

As a general rule, both the number and the unit litre should be written out in full, or the numeral should be followed by a space and the symbol.

  • The motorcycle needed just twelve litres (or 12 L) of gasoline.

For clarity in non-technical writing, however, it is acceptable to use the numeral with the unit written out in full.

  • What was he going to do with more than 20 litres of paint?

When using the symbol L or the unit litre as a modifier, put a hyphen between the number and the modifier.

  • Meg bought a 2.84-L (or 2.84-litre) container of grapefruit juice for the camping trip.