For this year’s Independence Day, we have three very simple rules on when to write out numbers and when to use numerals.
Rule 1: Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine.
- I had two beers before the fireworks started.
- Can you seriously eat 10 hot dogs? Barf!
- She just bought six glow sticks!
- He hung up 15 flags.
Rule 2: Always follow Rule 1 for consistency, even if it means including a numeral and spelled-out number in the same sentence.
- There were 12 waffle balls when this game started, and now there are only seven. Stop hitting homeruns!
- He made 15 cheeseburgers 20 minutes ago and now there’s only one left.
Rule 3: Ages are always numerals.
- The girl was 2 years old.
- His baby is 8 months old.
Enjoy the food and fireworks! Happy Fourth of July!
Written by Grace Lavigne, senior editor of ProfNet, a service that helps journalists connect with expert sources.
2 Comments on Blog Post Title
I am so glad I subscribed to your blog 🙂 Not only is the writing terrific, but I am always learning things I didn’t know — like this number/numerals rule! So I tweeted it, too. I’m prob. not the only one 🙂 Thanks!
“There were 12 waffle balls when this game started, and now there’s only seven. Stop hitting homeruns!”
THERE’S?! SERIOUSLY?! Also, “homeruns” should probably be “home runs.”