Language Navigator

Language Navigator allows you to search by keyword or by theme to quickly find answers to questions about language or writing in English and French. To learn more about this search engine, consult the section entitled About Language Navigator.

New to Language Navigator? Learn how to search for content in Language Navigator.

Search by keyword

Search fields

Search by theme

Search by theme to quickly access all of the Portal’s language resources related to a specific theme.

About Language Navigator

Language Navigator simultaneously searches all of the writing tools, quizzes and blog posts on the Language Portal of Canada. It gives you access to everything you need to write well in English and French: articles on language difficulties, linguistic recommendations, conjugation tables, translation suggestions and much more.

To translate a term or to find answers to terminology questions in a specialized field, please consult TERMIUM Plus®.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results 1 to 10 of 61 (page 1 of 7)

numbers: money

A writing tip on how to write sums of 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¢ but 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 a two-million dollar loan $100 (not $100.00, when standing alone, or $100.) 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) $3.99kg (not 3.99/kilogram or $3.99/kilo) 98¢/L (not 98¢ per litre) Place the dollar sign before the numeral in question.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 8,931

How to write the date

A quiz on how to write the date in English.Knowing how to write the date correctly is important. After all, you want people to show up at your event on the day you expect them! Test your knowledge by seeing if you can choose the correctly written date in the questions below.1. What's the correct way to write the date in numbers if you're referring to the fifth day of June in the year 2017?2017-06-052017-05-062. How do you write the date on which New Year's Day falls?January 1st, 2017January 1, 20173. The cross-country ski event was scheduled for .Friday, January 15Friday January 154. Alana and Sean got married in .June, 2007June 20075. The concert will take place on .19 May, 2018May 19, 20186. You must send in your entry form before to take part in the contest.May 1, 2018May 1, 2018,7. The Oktoberfest Festival lasted from .September 16–October 3September 16—October 3September 16 to October 3  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 8,877

Do you have the right time?

An English-language quiz on how to write the time of dayWriting the time of day can be tricky. For each question below, choose the answer that completes the sentence correctly. Need help? Check out our writing tip on how to write the time of day.1. The annual general meeting ended at .4:30 pmp m4:30 p.m.p period m period2. Business hours: .9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.9 a.m. em dash 5 p.m.9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.9 a.m. en dash 5 p.m.3. The cafeteria is open from every day.9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.9 a.m. to 9 p.m.9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.9 a.m. en dash 9 p.m.4. The next flight to Thunder Bay leaves at .13:45 p.m.13:455. In the 12-hour system, 12:00 p.m. corresponds to .noonmidnight6. As Fiona waited outside the emergency room, time passed agonizingly slowly— .2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m. in the morningtwo o’clock, three o’clock, four o’clock7. The train leaves Union Station at sharp.7:00 p.m.7 in numerals p.m.seven written in letters p.m.8. Grandmother usually takes an afternoon nap between one and .two thirtytwo-hyphenthirty9. In the 24-hour system, 5:00 p.m. corresponds to .15:00 hundred hours17:00 hundred hours10. The internationally recognized symbol for hour is .hhr  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 7,852

Writing with numbers

An English-language quiz on how to write with numbers.Not only do writers have to know rules about words and grammar, but they also have to know how to deal with numbers. Try this quiz to see how you measure up!1. Which is the correct format for writing a telephone number in Canada?(123) 456-7890123-456-7890123.456.78902. Which is the correct format for writing a range of years?1990–952000–051990–053. In general texts, write numbers under 10 .as wordsas numeralsas words when the number is not followed by the term "percent"4. In financial texts (versus general texts), write numbers and percent signs like this:14 percentfourteen percent14%5. How should you write December 28, 2009, using only numbers?28-12-20092009-12-2809-12-286. Which is the correct format for writing a date with numbers and words?January 19th, 200819 January, 2008January 19, 20087. In a range of percentages, which is the correct way to use the percent sign?50–75%50 percent to 75 percent50%–75%  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 7,188

abbreviations: time zones

A writing tip on how to abbreviate time zones.
Time zones are abbreviated when used with a specific time. Note that capitals are used, without periods. 4:30 p.m. EST 7:15 a.m. MST When no specific time is given, time zones are written out in full: Pacific Standard Time Mountain Standard Time The six time zones in Canada and their abbreviations are listed below: Newfoundland Standard Time – NST Atlantic Standard Time – AST Eastern Standard Time – EST Central Standard Time – CST Mountain Standard Time – MST Pacific Standard Time – PST From March to November, when clocks are put ahead one hour, the time zones are on daylight saving time (DST): Newfoundland Daylight Time – NDT Atlantic Daylight Time – ADT Eastern Daylight Time – EDT Central Daylight Time – CDT Mountain Daylight Time – MDT Pacific Daylight Time – PDT
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 6,587

commas in a date

A writing tip on the use of commas in dates.
Use a comma to separate the day of the week from the date and the day from the year: Friday, February 13 (but Friday the thirteenth) Monday, October 26, 2015 When the date appears in a sentence in the sequence month-day-year, a comma is needed after the year as well as before it (except when the comma is replaced by a stronger mark of punctuation): He worked in my department from May 20, 2001, until October 28, 2003, when he accepted another assignment. We planned to finish the project by January 8, 2009; however, we completed the work on December 15, 2008. But when the day is omitted, there is no comma either before or after the year: He worked in my department from May 2001 until October 2004. The Esplanade Riel pedestrian bridge opened in December 2003. When the date is written in the sequence day-month-year (a style more common outside of North America), commas are not used: He worked in my department from 20 May 2001 until 28 October 2003.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 6,544

Dealing with numbers in writing

A quiz on writing conventions related to the use of numbers.Not only do writers have to know rules about words and grammar, but they also have to know how to deal with numbers. Try this quiz to see how you measure up!1. Which is the correct format for writing a service code?9-1-19-119112. Which is the recommended way of writing a Canadian telephone number in an international format?+1-555-555-5555+1 555-555-5555+1 555 555 55553. Which is the correct format to use in technical writing?The sample weighs 2 g.The sample weighs two g.The sample weighs two (2) g.4. Which is the correct format for writing a sentence that begins with a number?350 people are expected to attend.Three hundred and fifty people are expected to attend.Three hundred and 50 people are expected to attend.5. Which is the correct format for writing numbers with an abbreviation or symbol?For this exercise, place your arm at a 90 ° angle.For this exercise, place your arm at a 90° angle.For this exercise, place your arm at a ninety ° angle.6. Which is the correct way of forming the plural of a decade?the 1960sthe 1960’sthe 1960ies7. Which sentence is correct?Sue always has 101 excuses.Sue always has a hundred and one excuses.Sue always has 100 and one excuses.8. Which number is correctly written?four hundred and twenty-ninefour hundred twenty-nineeither (a) or (b)9. In which sentence are the numbers correctly written?Of the 130 suggestions, the committee accepted 8.Of the 130 suggestions, the committee accepted eight.Of the hundred and thirty suggestions, the committee accepted 8.10. Which is the correct format for the fraction in the sentences below?The motion passed by a four fifths majority.The motion passed by a four-fifths majority.The motion passed by a 4/5 majority.  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 6,240

thousand, K (thousand)

A writing tip on expressing the number thousand with the letter K.
As a general rule, thousand should be expressed either in words or in numbers. Felicity received five thousand dollars as a graduation present from her grandparents. In his very first job, Patel was making $75,000 a year. The capital letter K is sometimes used informally to represent one thousand (dollars), especially in newspaper headlines. There is no space between the numeral and the letter K, as in 75K. Headline: Lottery winner gets 150K The letter K should not be used as an abbreviation for one thousand (dollars) in formal writing. The grant amounted to $150,000 (not 150K).
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 5,777

Pacific Daylight Time, Pacific Standard Time, PDT, PST

A writing tip on how to capitalize and abbreviate the expressions Pacific Daylight Time and Pacific Standard Time.
From mid-March to early November, Pacific Daylight Time is observed in Yukon and most of British Columbia. From early November to mid-March, Pacific Standard Time is in effect. Vancouver is on Pacific Daylight Time in July. Capitalization Usage is divided with regard to the use of capitals in the names of time zones. However, Canadian dictionaries and most Canadian style guides treat the official names of time zones as proper nouns and capitalize all words: Atlantic Daylight Time and Atlantic Standard Time. Abbreviations The name of the time zone is abbreviated when a specific time is stated; otherwise, it is written out in full. The abbreviations PDT and PST are in upper case, with no periods. Please arrive at the ferry dock by 6:30 a.m. PDT. Time zones may be stated with either the 12-hour or the 24-hour system (e.g. 5:15 p.m. PDT or 17:15 PDT). Your flight gets into Nanaimo at 16:45 PST
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 5,270

date: numeric

A writing tip on the correct way to write numeric dates.
The all-numeric form of dating may be more appropriate than a date written in full for such purposes as office memorandums and chronological files and on documents such as certificates, forms and plaques that are presented in both official languages. Recommended format Because different formats are used for writing numeric dates, confusion can easily arise. In a date such as 03/04/15, for example, the reader cannot be sure whether the intended date is March 4, 2015, or April 3, 2015. (And if the document is old, the date might even represent April 15, 2003.) For the sake of clarity, therefore, write a numeric date in one of the formats recommended by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO recommends writing numeric dates in descending order-year, month, day-with the year written in full. The dates can be presented in three different ways: with hyphens: 2014-08-16 without hyphens or spaces: 20140816 Note: For Government of Canada documents, the Translation Bureau recommends the first option, i.e. the use of a hyphen to separate the elements of the date: 2014-03-04 (stands for March 4, 2014) Additional information For information on the recommended order for the elements in a date in English and in French, see date: order of elements (Linguistic recommendation from the Translation Bureau).
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 4,891