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Numbers and Figures

In most usages, spell out numbers under 10 and use numerals for numbers 10 and above. 

  • A maximum of four tickets will be distributed per person.
  • The committee will meet monthly over the next two years.
  • Louise traveled into 14 different states on her journey.

Exceptions: Use numerals, even if the number is below 10, when indicating the following: ages, figures containing decimals, statistics, percentages, academic credits, sums of money, times of day, days of the month, chapters in a book, latitude and longitude, degrees of temperature, dimensions, measurements, and proportions. Do not use superscripts.

  • This year is the University's 50th anniversary.
  • Children usually begin kindergarten when they are 5 years old.
  • Work begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • She is 4 credits short of earning her degree.
  • Only 3 percent of those attending needed additional assistance.
  • 7-by-10 rug; 9 miles per hour; two million people BUT $6 million dollars

Days of the month— omit rd, th, st and nd following the numerals:

  • April 6, June 1
  • Classes begin on Sept. 4.

Date ranges— use an endash to represent a span of dates.  Avoid using the ampersand.

  • The performance will be held from March 26–30 in Lincoln Theater.
  • Special discounted tickets will be available on March 29 and 30.

A million or more—spell out the word "million." Use no hyphens.

  • $150 million capital campaign
  • 12.5 million people

Spans of years are written as follows, using an en dash (see "Dash" above):

  • 1861-65, 1898-1902, 1903-04, 1985-86, 2001-03

Spell out numbers of centuries from first through ninth and lowercase (the third century, the ninth century), but use numerals from the 10th century on (the 12th century, the 20th century).

Do not capitalize "century" in any context other than a title. Do not hyphenate a century unless it modifies a noun:

  • They own a 20th-century house furnished with 19th-century antiques.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine began many thousands of years before the 21st century.

Hours of the day—do not use zeros with even hours. Use noon and midnight rather than 12 a.m. or 12 p.m.

  • 3 p.m., 10 a.m.
  • 3:05 p.m., 10:30 a.m.
  • The group will meet at noon

Do not begin a sentence with numerals; supply a word or spell out the figures. Numbers below 100 should be hyphenated when they consist of two words:

  • Fifty-five houses now stand on Main Street.
  • A total of 55 houses now stand on Main Street.

Use numerals for amounts of money with the word "cents" or with a dollar sign:

  • $3 (not $3.00), $5.09, or 77 cents, unless tabulated in columns.

When numbers are next to each other in a sentence and where the above rules would have them both be spelled out or both be written as numbers, change the second reference to the opposite form.

  • eight 7-week sessions (the seven is changed to 7)
  • 52 ten-week options (the 10 is changed to ten)
  • three 20-week terms (no exception to normal style)