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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”).Express the whole numbers zero and one as numerals only when: When a number is used idiomatically or within a figure of speech, spell out the word; however, like jargon, figures of speech may be inappropriate for scientifically oriented writing because they may not be readily understood by readers whose first language is not English.
These tips will point you in the right direction, but if you are serious about understanding all the rules, you need to buy a style guide such as The Chicago Manual of Style or .] Whether to use a numeral or to spell out a number as a word is a matter of style.
For general writing, most guides agree that you should use words for the numbers one through nine, but for larger numbers the rules vary wildly from style guide to style guide.
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.
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.The modern scientific number style treats numbers more consistently by extending the use of “numerals” to most 1-digit whole numbers (1 to 9) that were previously expressed as words (one to nine).This style allows all quantities to be expressed in a similar manner.Since this is my 100th episode, it seems like a fitting time to talk about how to use numbers in sentences.[Note: There are many exceptions to the rules about how to write numbers.Recasting the phrase is generally the better option.When the precise value must be conveyed, the decimal or percent form is preferred.The idea is to write them the same way when they are in the same sentence.So even though you would normally write out the word "one" if you were writing, "The snail advanced one inch," if you added a number over nine to that sentence, then you would use numerals instead of words when you write, "The snail advanced 1 inch on the first day and 12 inches on the second day." (You'd write both 1 and 12 as a numeral.) Most style guides agree that you should break your general rule in cases like that, when doing so would make your document more internally consistent.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.