Numbers Spelled Out

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When writing out a number such as 210 days because it starts a sentence, should it be "Two hundred days" or "Two hundred and ten days"? 

numbers asked Jul 06 '12 at 00:01 Ginny Soule New member

1 answer


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The Chicago Manual of Style does address the issue,

 

Starting with the fundamentals, Chicago recommends spelling out the numbers 0-99 and any larger, round number that can be formed from 1-99 (spelled out) followed by hundred, thousand, hundred thousand, million, and billion (sections 9.3 and 9.4) -- twenty-five thousand, seventy-three, eight hundred.

 

For other numbers, Chicago recommends using numerals -- 210, 11,345 (section 9.2).

 

Chicago says (section 9,5) when a number begins a sentence, it is always spelled out regardless of complexity.

 

Chicago does not directly address the use of "and", but its intent is clear from the many examples Chicago provides. Per section 9.15, "and" may used to separate a whole number from a fraction -- three and two-thirds miles -- but per section 9.5, "and" is never used for whole numbers -- two hundred twenty-five, not two hundred and twenty-five. (This is consistent with Emily Post's advice for dates on wedding invitations.)

 

There are many situations where both ccategories of numbers (spelled out and numeral) appear in the same paragraph.  Chicago counsels consistency and flexibility. Generally, this may mean using numerals for all numbers in the paragraph, But, to quote Chicago, "if a number beginning a sentence is followed by another number of the same category, spell out only the first or reword."

 

One hundred eighty-five of the 210 candidates ...

link comment edited Jul 06 '12 at 02:50 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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