Is it “100” or “one hundred”? Know how to express a number in your business writing with these rules from Daily Writing Tips:
1. If the number is between one and nine, spell it out. Unless you’re sending a text message, writing out small numbers is the standard.
2. You may spell out one-word numbers. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, but many professionals appreciate the formality of spelling out one-word numbers.
Example: Write out “seventy” but use digits to express “75.”
3. Always use a comma. Writing “4,179” rather than “4179” makes it easier for a reader to scan the number.
4. Never start a sentence with a number. Either spell out the number or rewrite the sentence. Example: “$5,000 went toward a new HVAC system for the office” would become either “Five thousand dollars went toward a new HVAC system for the office” or “We had to devote $5,000 toward a new....”
5. Use digits to express percentages, such as “a 20% increase.”
6. Break up two numbers that appear next to each other.
Example: “We bought 17 500-sheet packs of paper.” To avoid visual confusion, write “We bought seventeen 500-sheet packs of paper.”
7. Be consistent, particularly within the same sentence.
Take this example: “Out of 25 employees, 20 signed up for professional development this year.” If you introduce digits into a sentence, be consistent and use digits throughout the sentence.
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