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For example, take the number 342. It could be written out a number of different ways when spelled out fully.

  • Three hundred forty two
  • Three hundred and forty two
  • Three hundred and forty-two

What is the most correct form for spelling out that number in full text? What is the rule for adding (or leaving out) the and? When does one use hyphens? Does the context matter, e.g. writing out the amount on a check vs. a news article?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Three hundred and forty-two

Leaving out 'and' is more common in US English. Either is acceptable, but including 'and' is more correct.

Hyphenate all compound numbers between twenty-one and ninety-nine.

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Agreed. These are the same rules I know. –  Noldorin Jan 30 '11 at 19:51
1  
I don't agree with "more correct". "And" is never omitted in the UK, and is usually omitted in the US. –  Colin Fine Jan 31 '11 at 18:35
    
Absolutely not: Saying "and" in the middle of a denotes a decimal point. Three hundred and forty-two means 300.42. –  Joe C Jan 16 at 4:33

I was always taught, in American English, to use "and" only with compound numbers such as "three and three-quarters." Wikipedia also mentions this:

Note that in American English, many students are taught not to use the word and anywhere in the whole part of a number, so it is not used before the tens and ones. It is instead used as a verbal delimiter when dealing with compound numbers. Thus, instead of "three hundred and seventy-three", one would say "three hundred seventy-three". For details, see American and British English differences.

And as ElendilTheTall said, hyphenate numbers between twenty-one and ninety-nine as well as fractions.

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Yes this is the rule I was taught as well. –  Joe C Jan 16 at 4:31

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