Grammar and numbers. What's the rule for it?

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  1. Escobana profile image75
    Escobanaposted 11 years ago

    I'm about to publish a new Hub. I use numbers in my text and I wonder what's grammatically the right thing to do.

    I write about age and the number forthy. Or should I write 40? And what about number one and 2?

    Is there a rule which says: If you start in letters you keep it that way. If you use numbers like 40 and 30, you use these during the whole Hub?

    All this seems very important for being selected by Hub of the day. No grammar mistakes. Let's see if you can help me out here?

    1. profile image0
      Wilfionposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know if there is a rule.  However, if I am using a number as part of a hub, article or piece of prose, I write the number in full, i.e. forty, rather than 40.  However, when referring to a date, I will use the numbers, i.e. 1925.

    2. Hollie Thomas profile image60
      Hollie Thomasposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know of any specific rule regarding this, however, a number of sites I write for insist that numbers below 10 be written and above 10 should be digits.

    3. BenjaBenja profile image60
      BenjaBenjaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The general rule is that you write out numbers one (1) through nine (9). For 10 and above, you can use the number. There are other special rules to follow, but that is the most basic.

      Other rules: Be consistent with your choice even if you combine the two "groups." For example, you shouldn't write "There were 11 students, and now there are five..." You would use eleven/five or 11/5. It gets tricky with decimals and fractions... but how often are they used in hubs? Hope this helps!

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        It gets worse.  Should you use one and three eights inches, 1+3/8", 1 3/8" or 1 3/8 inches?  Or 1.375 inches?  The symbols chart provides some simple fractions taking the space of one character - should you mix them in a sentence?

        On a recent hub I wrote, the fractions went to one sixty fourth, which is ridiculous.  So is .015625 - nobody will recognize it for what it is.  That leaves 1/64 which is still cumbersome, but is what I used.

      2. Escobana profile image75
        Escobanaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Perfect! This really helps a lot! I use quite a bit of numbers in my next Hub even though it's a light and funny topic.

        Thanks so much to all of you:-) Back to the editing my Hub and make something great of it!

  2. knolyourself profile image59
    knolyourselfposted 11 years ago

    Different strokes for different folks.

  3. mary615 profile image87
    mary615posted 11 years ago

    I use a little book called Reference Manual for the Office, 7th. Edition, 1989, and it advises:
    "Informal style:  The numbers one through nine are written in words; 10 and above are written in figures.   This style gives the text a pleasing appearance, avoiding the awkwardness of expressing large numbers in words."

  4. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 11 years ago

    Last time I checked my MLA (which was several years ago), whole numbers up to 101 were written out. There are, however, other rules that might apply:

    http://writing-style-guide.papercheck.c … umbers_MLA

    1. mary615 profile image87
      mary615posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks habee, I went there and read it.  I'm still a little confused:  I was taught that in the case of ages for example, ages 1 through 9 should be spelled, older than that use numerals. My little book does say to be consistant in your choice in your writing.

      1. habee profile image93
        habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        That's the problem with English - too many different sets of rules! lol

  5. Danette Watt profile image83
    Danette Wattposted 11 years ago

    perhaps to confuse things even further, as a journalist, I follow AP style in most of my writings. AP spells out numbers 1-9 and uses figures 10 and above. There are quite a few exceptions though - ages area always expressed in figures - the 2-year-old girl. Height and weight are always figures as well -- 8 fee, 3 inches tall. Or 136 pounds.

    Regardless whether you follow a style - AP, MLA, etc. - or not, be consistent in whatever you decide to do.

    1. Escobana profile image75
      Escobanaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I do wrtie about age and weight, so this answers my question even more. Thanks so much!!!

  6. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 11 years ago

    General at least 1-10 should be written in words, as well as any number at the start of a sentence. The rest is a bit more optional.

  7. Escobana profile image75
    Escobanaposted 11 years ago

    About starting a sentence....Great information too! I used your advice in my latest Hub. Thanks a lot:-)


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