capitalization: SI/metric units
When writing the names of SI/metric units in full, capitalize only the word Celsius.
Symbols for units
When using symbols, capitalize the 19 symbols based on personal names and the letter L for litre.
- 20 A (amperes, named after André-Marie Ampère)
- 273.16 K (kelvins, named after Lord Kelvin)
- 4.5 T (teslas, named after Nikola Tesla)
- 12 V (volts, named after Alessandro Volta)
- 30 L (litres)
All the other symbols remain in lower case.
- 2 m (metres)
- 475 g (grams)
Symbols for prefixes
Capitalize the symbols for the prefixes from mega to yotta.
- M (mega)
- G (giga)
- T (tera)
- P (peta)
- E (exa)
- Z (zetta)
- Y (yotta)
The symbols for the other prefixes remain in lower case. Consistency is important here because the letters m and p are both used in symbols for two different prefixes:
- mg (milligram); Mg (megagram)
- pm (picometre); Pm (petametre)
Copyright notice for Writing Tips Plus
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Services and Procurement
A tool created and made available online by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Search by related themes
Want to learn more about a theme discussed on this page? Click on a link below to see all the pages on the Language Portal of Canada that relate to the theme you selected. The search results will be displayed in Language Navigator.