How to Write Numbers

Is it 48 or forty-eight? The answer is pretty simple, depending on who you ask. Sources may vary in the information provided, but here is the basic rule-of-thumb:


Spell out numbers from zero through nine, and use the numeric symbols for numbers 10 and up. It is okay if they are both used in the same sentence. For example: Sally bought four books last month and sold 13 yesterday.


There are some exceptions to this:


Always spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence, unless it is a year. Four hundred people were in my graduating class. 1985 is the year I graduated high school.


If you don't want to spell it out, restructure your sentence: There were 400 people in my graduating class.


Always use the numeric symbol for:


Ages: She is 3 years old.

Dates: March 7

Money: $9

Percentages: 5%

Ratios: 5 to 1


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