How to Write Numbers

How to write numbers – figures or words?

How to write numbers? It can be confusing. When do we use figures and when do we spell the number out in words? Being consistent is important, but there are some professional conventions that can help you decide.


Numbers spelt out in words

  • Numbers up to and including nine

There are seven days in a week

He found the two letters at the back of the desk drawer.


  • Exact amounts at the start of a sentence

Seventeen people came to the meeting.

Sixty per cent of American businesses are home-based.


  • Approximate amounts

About twenty people work here.

I’ve studied Art History for roughly thirty years.


  • Numbers showing position in a series

We are paid on the fifteenth of every month.

He came fourth in the race.

Numbers written as figures

  • Numbers above nine

There are 52 weeks in the year.

I have 25 pupils in my class this year.


  • Dates & times

The meeting is at 9.30am on 15 April.


  • Numbers preceding units of time, measurement and currency

She is 20 years old.

It’s 50 yards on the right.

That will be $7.50.


  • Numbers modifying nouns

Appendix 10

Page 102

Figure 21

Chapter 101


  • When numbers above and below 9 refer to the same subject

The survey said 9 out of 10 cats prefer Kibbles.

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