Taken, paraphrased and bastardized from the article “When Do I Spell Out Numbers?” dated February 13, 2017, by Brian A. Klems
The most common “rules of thought” on how to handle writing numbers are pretty simple:
- Spell out numbers under 10 (zero through nine)
- use the numeric symbols for numbers 10 and up.
I bought eight candy bars from the vending machine. I average eating 29 candy bars per month.
There are some exceptions to the rule.
- Spell out all numbers that begin a sentence.
Forty-seven-thousand contestants were turned down for “American Idol.” Eleven were selected.
Of course, there’s an exception to the exception:
- Don’t spell out calendar years, even at the front end of a sentence. 1997 was the year I met my wife.
If you don’t feel like writing those long, awkward-looking numbers, just recast the sentence.
American Idol turned down 47,000 contestants. I met my wife in the magical year of 1997.
(Dan says: I DON’T 100% AGREE HERE): “Also, there are other instances where the under-10/over-10 rule doesn’t apply.”
- Always use figures for ages of people (“He’s 9 years old”) NO – Dan
- dates (February 14) YES – Dan
- monetary amounts ($8) NOT NECESSARILY; WHAT ABOUT FOURTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS? SPELL IT OUT – Dan
- percentages (14 percent) YES – Dan
- and ratios (2-to-1) YES – Dan