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How do you write 20000 in words?

Writing out the number 20,000 in words may seem like a simple task, but it can actually get quite lengthy when written out fully. While the number 20,000 contains only five digits, when written out in words it contains twenty-two words and over 85 letters. This article will examine different ways to write out 20,000 in words, looking at both the basic word form as well as exploring more creative options. We’ll also look at reasons you may need to write out long numbers in words, whether for formal documents, checks, or other uses.

Basic Form

The most basic way to write out 20,000 in words is:

Twenty thousand

That may seem pretty straightforward. However, there are some rules to follow when writing out long numbers like this in words. First, you write out the number digit by digit starting from the left. The three-digit groups are handled in this order: hundreds, thousands, millions, etc. Let’s break it down step-by-step:

  • 20,000 has two three-digit groups
  • The first group on the left is the thousands position, so we write “twenty thousand”
  • There are no hundreds or millions positions used, so no other words are needed

You may sometimes see the word “and” included between the different value groups, although it is not necessary. With the “and”, it would be written as:

Twenty thousand and zero

Either way is generally acceptable. The key is consistency within a single document. If you are unsure, it’s best to follow the conventions used by the organization or style guide you are writing for.

Formal Writing Form

In very formal writing, there are some additional rules that may apply when writing out long numbers in words:

  • The word “and” is not used between groups
  • “Zero” is typically not written out
  • Hyphens connect the words within each group

Using these formal rules, 20,000 would be written as:

Twenty thousand

The most formal version avoids both the “and” and the “zero.” This very concise format is used in documents like legal contracts or technical writings where clarity and precision are essential.

Adding Commas for Large Numbers

When numbers increase to the millions or billions, it becomes standard to add commas to help readability. The commas separate each three-digit group, just as they normally would in numeric form. With commas, 20,000 would appear as:

Twenty thousand

And a larger number like 2,000,000 would be written:

Two million

The commas provide visual separation between each group and make it easier to parse the number correctly when reading or speaking. This is why commas are found in the convention for writing out checks or other long, complex numbers.

Creative Variations

While the basic word form is most common, you can get creative with writing long numbers in words, especially for less formal uses. Here are some variations you may see:

  • Using hyphens between each word: twenty-thousand
  • Including the word “only” for emphasis: twenty-thousand only
  • “Even” can also emphasize the largeness: twenty-thousand even
  • Alliterative adjective before the number: substantial twenty-thousand

These types of creative variations add color and flair. They can be used in titles, advertisements, or even for a dramatic storytelling effect. However, most formal documents will avoid these types of stylistic flourishes.


There are standardized abbreviations that can be used to shorten the written words for some large numbers:

  • Thousand = T or thou
  • Million = MM or mn
  • Billion = B
  • Trillion = T

These abbreviations are considered informal though, and should be avoided in formal writing. But they can be handy in personal notes, text messages, or quick communications where brevity takes priority over formality.

Writing Numbers in Financial Documents

One common use case for writing numbers in words is printing financial documents like checks or legal contracts. This helps reduce cases of fraud by deliberately misreading a numeric value. Banks will often require checks to be written in words to process them.

There are some specific conventions used on checks when writing out dollar amounts:

  • Currencies are spelled out fully: dollars, pounds, euros, etc.
  • Decimals are written as fractions: $500.25 is “five hundred dollars and 25/100”
  • The cheque amount matches the written words (no shortcuts)

Following the strict rules for financial documentation ensures there are no ambiguities about the intended amounts. This example shows a fully written check for $20,000:

Twenty thousand and 00/100—————-dollars

Reasons to Write Numbers in Words

We’ve looked at the basic conventions of writing numbers in words, but why go to the trouble of spelling it all out?

Here are some of the main reasons you may need to write out numbers in words rather than using the numeric digits:

  • Legal contracts require exact written values to avoid ambiguity
  • Checks need written values to avoid tampering or altering amounts
  • Formal documents follow writing conventions for consistency
  • Long numbers are easier to read when written out
  • It provides clarification when numbers would be ambiguous (like speech)
  • Writers may choose words for impact or dramatic effect

Any situation where clarity and precision are important, writing number words can be very helpful. Of course, casual everyday uses like texting or taking notes will still rely on numeric digits for speed and convenience in most cases.

Tips for Writing Numbers in Words

Here are some top tips to keep in mind when writing out long numbers in words:

  • Always write out numbers at the start of a sentence
  • Be consistent within a document, using either words or numerals
  • Use commas between groups of three digits for large numbers
  • Hyphenate compound numbers between twenty-one and ninety-nine
  • Write out currencies fully instead of using symbols
  • Double check that numerical and written values match on financial docs
  • Use abbreviations sparingly and only in informal writing

With a bit of practice, writing out long numbers becomes second nature. Start by mastering the formal rules, then feel free to add creative flair when the situation allows!

Examples of Writing Out 20,000

Let’s look at some examples of writing 20,000 in different contexts so you can see the conventions in action:

Formal Document

Twenty thousand

Technical Writing

20,000 (twenty thousand)

Academic Writing

A sample of twenty thousand participants was surveyed.

Legal Contract

Payment shall be made in the amount of Twenty thousand and 00/100 dollars.

Creative Writing

A robust twenty-thousand even showed up for the event, far exceeding expectations.

Casual Communication

Dude, I’ve got like 20k followers now!


Writing numbers in words allows for precision and clarity, especially for formal documents requiring exact numerical values. While it takes more space and words to spell out a number versus using its digits, the benefits often outweigh the brevity of numerals in important contexts. Learning the standard conventions for writing out numbers ensures your meaning is communicated accurately in any situation.