Posted by: episystechpubs | April 15, 2015

Editor’s Corner: I Am a Number

Over the next few days I’m going to cover some general rules for using numbers in your writing. As I mentioned before, this can be a tricky subject. I will do my best to give you the general rules and the rules we use here at JHA. Follow them and you should be in good shape!

Rule 1: Spell out numbers zero to nine; use numerals for numbers 10 and above.


· Dino has three breadsticks and four pieces of focaccia bread.

· Tamara swam 60 laps yesterday and plans on swimming 70 laps today.

Exception: If you’re mixing numbers under and over 10, but you are counting the same unit, you should either spell them out or write digits, not both:

· I have two birds, Lucy has three birds, and Rosco has twelve birds!

· I was expecting 8 people for lunch, but 13 people came.

Rule 2: Spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence.


· Fifteen hundred people attended the Potatopalooza, where famous faces were supposedly seen in potato chips.

Rule 3: Hyphens

· Hyphenate compound numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine.


· Forty-five people dressed as Superman at San Diego Comic-Con.

· Thirty-seven of the people dressed as Superman should have worn bigger capes.

· Hyphenate fractions that are written out in prose.


· They asked that we donate one-tenth of our paycheck to the hurricane victims.

· Joey ate three-fourths of the chocolate cake.

P.S. For those of you who were curious about yesterday’s photo, it was taken in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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  1. […] Today we continue with how to handle numbers in writing. In case you missed yesterday’s items, they are here: […]

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