Writing Numbers

Did you know that there are actual rules to follow when writing numbers? What I mean is that you should write out some numbers and display others as figures. Some of you are definitely thinking, “Okay, who cares?” However, if you do any kind of writing, and remember responding to emails is a form of writing, you should know how to write numbers.

Therefore, here are a few rules to remember.

  • Spell out numbers that are smaller than 10 (for example, one, two, five, seven) and use figures for double digit numbers.
  • Spell out numbers that start a sentence. Alternatively, rewrite the sentence so it does not begin with a numeral.
  • Use a comma as the thousands separator (for example, 1,250). The comma separator also makes it easier to read, particularly when you get into larger numbers.
  • Spell out centuries and decades (for example, nineties and nineteenth century).
  • Spell out any ordinal numbers (for example, first, second, third and fourth).

Keep in mind that not all writers agree on the same set of rules, so you may come across some variances.

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