Do we write words or numerals for a number?
There are two rules that people follow:
1. The basic rule is very simple:
- use words for numbers from 0 to 9
- use figures for numbers from 10 on
There were six people at the meeting.
There were 12 people at the meeting.
2. Some people use a slightly different rule:
- use words for numbers from 0 to 99
- use figures for numbers from 100 on
There were sixty people at the meeting.
There were 120 people at the meeting.
Whether you use rule 1 or 2, the important thing is to apply the rule consistently.
There are some exceptions to these rules:
a. If the number comes at the beginning of a sentence, it is normally written as a word:
Two hundred people were present.
b. Dates, times with AM or PM, street numbers, chapter numbers, page numbers, measurements etc. are normally expressed as figures:
January 1, 2010
10 Downing Street
c. Decimals, percentages, degrees and money with fractions are normally expressed as figures:
7° or 7 degrees
54% or 54 percent
Finally, note that all ordinal numbers are normally expressed as words:
his second wife
Frequently Asked Questions about English
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