Numbers

Hello, Write Owls. Welcome to Day 18 of Grammar 110. Today we’re talking about numbers.

There are a few different rules with numbers. The key is to remain consistent. In fiction, numbers over ninety-nine are written as numerals.

Examples:

Three

Forty-seven

695

1,802

Many numbers are hyphenated when they are written out. If the written-out version contains the names of two numbers under one hundred, they are hyphenated. Fractions are also hyphenated.

Examples:

Twenty-seven

Sixty-four

One hundred thirty-eight (hundred does not need a hyphen before or after it)

Nineteen (this only has one number, nine, so there is no hyphen)

In some cases, you only use the numeral. This includes dimensions, temperature, sizes, and most times.

Examples:

The box is 45” by 23” by 6”.

It is 37˚ Fahrenheit.

I wear size 9 shoes.

Meet me at 4 p.m. tomorrow.

It is 3:47 in the afternoon.

You can write out time if you use o’clock, e.g. It is five o’clock.

If you have multiple numbers in a sentence, write all of them out or make them all numerals.

Examples:

There are 4 girls in the family, and all of them wear size 6 shoes.

There are four hundred students at the school, and seventy-two of them are graduating this year.

The final rule is that numbers at the beginning of a sentence must always be written out.

Examples:

Incorrect: 5 of my friends are on the basketball team.

Correct: Five of my friends are on the basketball team.

Those are all the rules for writing numbers. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments, and I will answer them either as a reply or in my Q&A on Saturday.

For practice, determine if the numerals in each sentence should be written out or stay as is. If you want me to check your answers, leave them in the comments.

1. There are 6 writers in the critique group, and 2 of them submit each time they meet.

2. Did you know it was -28˚ at 3:00 a.m. on the 12th?

3. 586 of us are freshman at the local university, and there are over 2,000 students there.

4. The 87-year-old man has 5 children and 16 grandchildren.

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