Should you spell a number out in words? Or, is that only correct when writing numbers under 10? See how to write numbers and how many numbers are present in your text with our free Number Checker.

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**Main Takeaways:**

- Spell out
**numbers**that appear at the beginning of sentences. - Spell out
**numbers**that begin from one to nine (or ten). - Write large
**numbers**that are above ten as numerals. - When
**numbers**appear in a pair, spell one out for clarity. - The rules above can vary depending on the style guide.
- Use
**INK Number Checker**to identify the numerals in your text.

We use numbers in our English language, whether to tel l time or to express percentages. Expectedly, there are rules for using **numerals **in writings based on the style guide.

For example, while you can spell out specific **numbers in letters**, others should only be written in numerals. Knowing when to write numerals in a text can be confusing. This is especially true when you're not familiar with the style guide conventions.

This post explores the various ways to write **numbers **in English. You'll also learn the rules for expressing **numerals **based on three writing style guides. These are **MLA style**, **APA style**, and the **Chicago Manual of Style**.

The first rule when dealing with **numbers **in a text is simple. Always spell out **numbers **when they appear at the beginning of a sentence, regardless of how large they might be.

**Example**:

**9**new plays are showing in the theater — Incorrect**Nine**new plays are showing in the theater — correct

Sometimes, a **number **might be too large to appear at the beginning of a sentence. In this case, consider rearranging the sentence such that the number no longer comes first.

Example:

There are **9** new plays showing in the theater

Spell out **small numbers** that range from one to nine — or ten, depending on the style guide. On the other hand, **larger numbers** that are above ten should be written as **numerals**.

**Example**:

- There are
**twelve thousand, five hundred**books in the library — incorrect - There are
**12,500**books in the library — correct

The reasoning behind this rule is fairly obvious. Writing out **large numbers** in yourcontent is a waste of space, and it can also be distracting.

The rules for writing **decimals **are not the same as **whole numbers**. For accuracy and clarity, it's essential to always to write **decimals **as **numerals**.

**Example**:

The book weighs **four point five** kg — incorrectThe answer is **4.5**kg — correct

Note that a **number **that comes immediately before a unit of measurement should be in **numeral**, not words.

Two words can appear next to each other in a sentence, and this can be confusing for readers. So, you consider spelling out one of these words for clarity.

**Example**:

- There were
**12 5-year-old**children at the party — incorrect - There were
**twelve**5-year-old children at the party — correct

When expressing percentage in your text, the standard is to combine the **numeral **with "**%,**" and not "**percent**."

**Example**:

- Roughly
**40%**of food goes to waste in the U.S.

The exception to this rule is when you're beginning your sentence with a percentage. Also, note that this rule varies based on the style guide.

The MLA style recommends spelling out any **number **that you can write in one word or two.

**Examples**:

- Six, thirty-two, one-millions.

However, other numbers in a text should always appear as numerals.

Also, the **MLA handbook** suggests using numerals when dealing with mathematical expressions or **units of measurement**. Regardless of how large or small the **number **may be, it would be best to use **numerals**.

The MLA Style also has rules for writing a range of years that begin in **1000 AD**. If the first two digits of a year are the same, you must include only the last two digits for the second year.

**Example**:

- 1975-79.

However, if the first two digits are different, you should write out the **numbers **entirely.

**Example**:

- 1945-2005.

**APA style** uses words for any **number **that's below 10 — that's one, two, three, four, and so on. **Numbers **from 10 and above should appear as **numerals **in a text.

Like the MLA style, APA style guide also requires the use of **numerals **when presenting **numerical data**.

APA style doesn't have specific rules for a range of **numbers**. But, this style guide emphasizes clarity and specificity. As such, you should always write a range of **numbers **or dates its full form.

**Example**:

- 1985-1989.

According to the **Chicago Manual of Style**, you must spell out **numbers **zero to one hundred. Then, use **numerals **for **numbers **that are over one hundred.

You must also spell out specific round **numbers **such as one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, two hundred thousand. However, this rule doesn't apply when dealing with a percentage or monetary amount.

**Example**:

- $100, 72 percent.

Identifying the **numerals **in your text can be tedious when done manually. The good news is you can automate the process using **INK Number Checker**.

Paste your content in the text box, and click the Analyze icon to begin. The tool will provide the **number count** within seconds.

We also make an optional WordPress Plugin to import INK files more easily. You can get it here.