# Thread: Phone and fax number format (UK)

1. ## Phone and fax number format (UK)

Greetings,

Is there a rule for this? I've found several different versions (UK):

1111 111 1111;

1111 111 11 11;

111 1111 1111;

+11 11 1111 1111 (that's an international number, I guess).

2. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

This depends on how many numbers are in the area code. Some cities and towns have five, some of them have four (e.g. Leeds area dialling code is 0113, so the number should be written like this 0113 xxx xxxx) and some have three (like London 020 xxxx xxxx).
I found this link, hope it will help.
UK telephone code misconceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Please note I am not a teacher :)

3. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

The intention has been to have all area codes represented as three numbers and individual numbers as two sets of four. We are a long way from this as any glance at a phone book will show. However, the end result should prove to be helpfull particularly as we are seeing a proliferation of new numbers to meet the demand.

home: 0xx xxxx xxxx
foreign inward 44 (0)xx xxxx xxxx

4. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

Oh, shoot. Stupid me. :) What I really want to know is how you group the digits. The number (let's imagine it's a working telphone or fax number) 11111111111 can be written in various ways e. g., 111 1111 1111 or 1111 1111111... Is there a rule or a standard according to which you have to group telephone and fax number digits say, in threes? Or can you just write it whichever way you like e. g., 11 11 11 11 1 1 1?

I'm asking this because in my native language there are rules (or standards) for writing telephone and fax numbers (grouping the digits, usings spaces, double spaces etc.)

5. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

You can write a number as continuous: 0xxxxxxxxxx.
But for many people it is far too easy to mix up those numbers when dialling. Therefore they are split into easy 'bites' which in many cases makes them very easy to remember.
On the continent you can find numbers such as xx xx xx xx xx xx and other combinations but I consider our approach to be better.

6. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

apex2000, I understand why, but I'm interested in how. Ok, imagine you work as an editor for the Telegraph, and I send you an article which also has my contacts at the bottom. I write my cell phone number like this: 1111 11111 11. Would you correct it (the grouping)? I'm talking rules/standards/conventions here. Are there any for this particular case of the English language? My apologies for being so cryptic.

7. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

Rules, standards, conventions.
The authority mainly concerned with this is BT (British Telecom). They have set this out as their rule, but there is no penalty for ignoring it!!
If you can examine a UK directory such as The Phone Book you will see this in use. The exception is all those exchanges that have not yet been upgraded (and may still have four or five number area codes, even the odd six) and general numbers such as 0845, 0871, 0800, 0900 etc. But even these may eventually be brought into line as in total they all use ten numbers. The same applies to mobile numbers.

8. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

Thanks for your response, but that's still not what I need.

No biggy, I'll try again: here's a typical cell phone number in my country +370xxxxxxxx. But writing it like this is incorrect because: +370 is the country code so it needs to be separated with a space and then the remaining 8 digits are grouped for convenience in threes and twoes (no bulks of five digits, single digits etc. are allowed) with spaces between them (e. g., +370 xxx xxx xx).

Such are the rules though I don't think you can actually get a fine except an occasional frown from some editor perhaps .

Well, what are the rules (if any) in the UK?

9. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

The authority mainly concerned with this is BT (British Telecom). They have set this out as their rule, but there is no penalty for ignoring it!!

This is the only rule I know of. What more are you looking for?
As for country codes then we normally leave a space after the country code, which is 44 for the UK, and so we get:
+44 (0)xx xxxx xxxx where the first 0 that we use internally is omitted when phoning in but still quoted to ensure that any user knows the correct number to quote.

10. ## Re: Phone and fax number format (UK)

I see. So basically I need to separate the country code with a space and the grouping of the remaining digits is entirely up to me... Thank you very much for your time. I guess this question sounds really silly for a native speaker. But I simply caught myself thinking I had no idea how to write a telephone or fax number correctly in British English. So I started a thread...

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