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Some say to use words for the numbers one to one hundred, one to ten, any word that can be written with one or two words, and so on.Typically, people who write business or technical documents are more likely to use numerals liberally, whereas people who write less technical documents are more likely to write out the words for numbers.For these numbers, applying consistent logic (numerals for quantities and words otherwise) may make decisions about correct usage more difficult as they are also used in ways that are more like figures of speech than precise quantifications (“in one of the subjects…,” “zero-point energies”).
Recasting the phrase is generally the better option.
When the precise value must be conveyed, the decimal or percent form is preferred.
In addition, numerals have greater visual distinctiveness than words; it increases the profile of quantities in running text.
This article covers guidelines on scientific number style as recommended by the two predominant style guides in life sciences and medicine: In actual application of these guidelines, however, when common sense or editorial judgment says a guideline is a poor choice for a specific document, follow sense or judgment.
If logic calls for a number to begin a sentence, title, or heading, then spell out the number.
If possible, reword so that the number appears elsewhere or connect the sentence to the previous or next sentence.
Would you like to try out a quick quiz to test your number knowledge?
Check out these easy and fun exercises from Grammar Book: Exercise 1 and Exercise 2 Comment below to let us know how you fared!
We hope that by now you are familiar with number conventions in formal writing.
You can refer to Part 1 and Part 2 in this series, for a quick recap.