Numbers When Writing

WRITTEN November 15, 2018 Author: Rich Atkins

We use numbers all the time.  However, do you ever think about how you use numbers when writing?  It is time to make a habit. Follow the accepted standards (listed below). Always make sure that number use in a document is user-friendly–easy to understand.

Spell out numbers one through nine.

One, two, three, etc.

Use figures for numbers 10 and above.

10, 11, 12, etc.

If a sentence uses written and figure numbers, use all figure numbers.

She bought 3 computers, 12 chairs and 20 desks.

Use figures with a.m. or p.m.

Spell out time with o’clock or when a.m., p.m. or o’clock are not used.

6:00 p.m., Eight o’clock, See you at seven.

Spell out stand-alone fractions under one.

He bought half a loaf.

If fractions are combined with whole numbers, use figures.

1 ½ laps around

When the date follows the month, use numerals for the day of the month.

October 30 (notice – no “th”)

Spell out the date if it stands alone.    

I will see you on the eighteenth.

Correctly use numbers when writing and you will increase your credibility with your audience.

This information is from our Business Writing curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

Photo by Ilnur Kalimullin on Unsplash

Other Resources:

How to Write Numbers

Stay Connected

Subscribe to the IC weekly newsletter for tips and advice on your communication skills!

Public Classes

Effective communication is empowering. Get started on your path to being more clear, brief, and effective.

Upcoming Classes