Spell Out Numbers Of One Or Two Words, Or Those That Begin A Sentence
The conventions for writing numbers in words or digits changes from location to location (and format to format), so you may have to do a little research if you’re writing a formal piece. However, a safe bet for informal writing is to use words for a number at the beginning of a sentence and if the number has only one or two words. Most conventions will allow the use of digits for numbers higher than twenty-four.
Nineteen ninety-nine was a year in which computer programmers became a little nervous about the future.
The year is spelled out because it looks weird if a sentence begins with digits.
The boy is six years old.
The project leader needs two or three more people to complete his team.
Students generally finish their post-secondary education when they’re about twenty-four or twenty-five years old.
Technically, we could write twenty-five in digits, but it would look strange beside twenty-four. In any case, consistency is best.
Even if the number itself is large, we use the two-word guideline.
What would you do with five million dollars?
The word cent comes from the Latin word for one hundred.
I’ve asked you a hundred thousand times to stop making that noise!
Addresses and other identifying numbers are always written in digits, even if they’re used in formal writing.
The Prime Minister of England lives at 10 Downing Street.
The charity’s headquarters can be reached by taking the #2 bus to Main Street.
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