Writing Mini-Lessons: Writing Numbers
There are times when it’s legal to write numerals as numerals, but there are other times when numbers must be written as words. Most sixth graders tend to use numerals all of the time, without being aware that often that is not acceptable. The general rule is to spell out numerals of one or two words: three, seventeen, thirty-seven, five hundred, fifty-five hundred, three million, nine-tenths.
EXCEPT: Use numerals to express: decimals (1.008 ), money ($251.83 ), percents (120%), time (12:15 ), telephone numbers (555-1212), dates (April 6, 2011), book chapters (chapter 11), book pages (page 192 ),
addresses (2856 Adobe Rd.), ZIP codes (94954 ), route numbers (Route 66), and big numbers (8.5 billion).
NOTE: A sentence can’t ever begin with a numeral. Either spell out the numeral, or recast the sentence.
- WRONG: 1968 was a momentous year in U.S. history.
- CORRECT: Nineteen-sixty-eight was a momentous year in U.S. history.
- BETTER: The year 1968 marked a momentous time in U.S. history.