would I use 4 instead of four because of the sixth following? No clear definition in APA. I am leaning towards "four sixth grade"
Once I have received approval from the principal, I will interview four sixth grade and four seventh grade mathematics teachers from the sixth and seventh grade mathematics PLCs.
There are really four issues at play here.
The first is the question: do you represent the ordinal numbers (sixth and seventh) as words or numerals in Vicki's sentence. All of the style manuals agree on this one; ordinals are spelled as words following the general rule for words versus numerals. Okay, that didn't help, but it does introduce the second question: what is the general rule for spelling numbers as words?
MLA and Chicago agree on this one, but APA differs. Under MLA and Chicago, the numbers 0-100 are usually spelled as words -- twenty-seven, fifty-nine, four. APA calls for the numbers 0-10 to be spelled as words.
The third issue is the question Vicki asks: does the nature of the following word change the general rule? No, not in the sentence Vicki posted. APA, MLA, and Chicago all urge consistency in the immediate context. Only if a paragraph (or series of paragraphs) contains many numbers, some where the general rule calls for using words and others where numerals should be used, should all of the numbers become numerals.
APA specifically addresses the names of school grades -- it is always Grade 6 or sixth grade, but never 6th grade.
Nonetheless, Vicki feels uneasy with "four sixth grade", and for good reason. However, the problem lies not with the number "four" but with "sixth grade". In Vicki's sentence, "sixth grade" is used as a compound adjective (an adjective + noun used as an adjective) modifying "mathematics teachers", In this usage, a hyphen is required.
Once I have received approval from the principal, I will interview four sixth-grade and four seventh-grade mathematics teachers from the sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics PLCs.
Here is Patty's suggestion, properly hyphenated.
With approval from the principal, I will interview four teachers from each of the sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics PLCs.
|link||edited Jul 15 '12 at 22:50 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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