## When to Spell Out Numbers in Writing

Writing numbers in texts can sometimes be tricky. There are general rules that can help decide whether to spell out numbers or write them as numerals.

**Here’s a detailed guide on when to spell out numbers in writing:**

### Numbers Below 10

**Rule**: Spell out numbers from one to nine in most writing.

**Example**:

- Correct: She has two cats.
- Incorrect: She has 2 cats.

### Beginning a Sentence

**Rule**: Always spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence, no matter how large the number is.

**Example**:

- Correct: Twenty students participated in the competition.
- Incorrect: 20 students participated in the competition.

** Tip:** If the number is too large or awkward to spell out, rephrase the sentence to avoid starting with a number.

- Revised: There were 20 students who participated in the competition.

### Numbers from 10 and Above

**Rule**: Use numerals for numbers 10 and above in most writing, especially in technical or formal writing.

**Example**:

- Correct: There were 25 people at the meeting.
- Incorrect: There were twenty-five people at the meeting.

### Decades and Centuries

**Rule**: Decades can be written in numerals or spelled out, but consistency is key.

**Example**:

- Correct: The 1990s were a decade of change.
- Also Correct: The nineties were a decade of change.

**Centuries** should generally be spelled out.

- Correct: The twentieth century.
- Incorrect: The 20th century.

### Large Round Numbers

**Rule**: Round numbers over a thousand, such as 1,000,000, can be spelled out for clarity in formal writing.

**Example**:

- Correct: One million people attended the event.
- Incorrect: 1,000,000 people attended the event.

However, in less formal writing, numerals may be acceptable for very large numbers.

- Correct: 1 million people attended.

### Ordinal Numbers

**Rule**: Spell out ordinals (first, second, third) up to ninth. After ninth, numerals are used.

**Example**:

- Correct: He finished third in the race.
- Correct: She finished 12th in the competition.

### Fractions and Decimals

**Rule**: Spell out simple fractions in writing, but use numerals for decimals.

**Example**:

- Correct: He ate two-thirds of the pizza.
- Correct: The solution contains 3.5 liters of water.

### Percentages

**Rule**: Use numerals with the percent symbol in technical and business writing. In less formal contexts, you can spell out both the number and the word “percent.”

**Example**:

- Correct: Only 8% of the population agrees.
- Also Correct: Eight percent of the population agrees.

### Time and Dates

**Rule**: Use numerals for specific times and dates.

**Example**:

- Correct: The meeting is at 3:30 PM on June 5.
- Incorrect: The meeting is at three thirty PM on June fifth.

For approximate time or era references, spell it out:

- Correct: We met around five o’clock.
- Correct: The event occurred in the early nineteen hundreds.

### Money

**Rule**: Use numerals for currency amounts in most writing.

**Example**:

- Correct: The ticket costs $20.
- Incorrect: The ticket costs twenty dollars.

For rounded large amounts, it’s common to spell out the currency:

- Correct: He donated fifty thousand dollars.

Knowing when to spell out numbers or use numerals depends on the formality of the writing, the type of number, and whether you want to emphasize clarity. Consistency is key throughout the text.