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This article provides the appropriate English
usage for the euro and the other currency units
of the world, particularly appropriate now that
Europe is about to switch over to the single
currency. There seems to be a tendency in Belgium
for non-native English speakers to use a variety
of ways to spell out currency amounts. Well,
here are the rules as far as English is concerned.
- Never abbreviate the name of a currency
unit when it is mentioned without an amount,
i.e., the euro is the new European currency,
the dollar is doing well, and NOT the eur.
is the new European currency, the dol. is
- When an amount is mentioned, place the accepted
abbreviation before the figure, leaving
a space between the abbreviation for
a currency and the amount, unless the abbreviation
includes a currency symbol
- Use the country name adjective to give a
precise reference to the currency.
Amounts and figures
- Express large amounts of money in figures.
- For large amounts, use round numbers and
the words "million", "billion", or "trillion"
rather than zeros.
|EUR 6.7 million
||not EUR 6,754,323
- Use the singular form to denote an exact
amount or a rounded figure (e.g., EUR 1 million,
GBP 3.4 billion)
||USD 2.5 million
||not USD 2.5 millions
||EUR 7.6 billion
||not EUR 7.6 billions
- Do not divide amounts or figures at the
end of a line; do not separate them from the
currency abbreviation or symbol.
||not €42,531, -- ...500
||not US$... 165 million
- Do not hyphenate cardinal and ordinal numbers
when used with units of money.
|€21 million surplus
||not €21-million surplus
Currency units ARE NOT capitalised.
It is also incorrect to refer to the euro by
nationality, for example, as an Austrian euro
or a Belgian euro. However, one may refer to
a country's holdings of euros, for example,
euro (France) or euro (Germany). The subsidiary
units, which used to be the national currencies
of the euro zone countries (lire, Deutschmark,
peseta, franc, etc.), will be used only during
the transition period, that is, through 31 December
2001. The euro itself is also divided into 100
- The abbreviation for the euro is "EUR"
- The graphic symbol for the euro is €.
Keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+e
In text, use the words "plus" and "minus",
if possible, instead of the signs (+ and -)
- except in mathematical contexts. It is preferable
to use such phrases as "a deficit of" for minus,
or "a surplus of" for plus.
- The balance of payments showed a deficit
[surplus] of €2.5 billion Exception:
mathematical contexts, for example, A coefficient
of -1... A margin of ±5 percent...)
- Do not leave a space between the currency
symbol (€, $, ¥, etc.) and the figure.
- But when the symbol is followed by an abbreviation,
leave a space before the figure.
|Australian dollar, $A 10.00
- Use the $ symbol to denote U.S dollars,
but when a different dollar is represented,
use the relevant abbreviation. Use US$ only
when it is not clear that the reference is
to the U.S. dollar.
|Hong Kong dollar
Also, in English a comma is used to separate
thousands in numbers and a full stop/period
at the decimal point, which is the exact opposite
of French and/or Dutch.
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