Writing for Business

Sep 18 2012   6:14PM GMT

Writing numbers and numerals: One exception to the rules

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
According to Google, ____________ viewers prefer the TrueView skippable ad format to other in-stream video ads.
a. eight out of 10
b. eight out of ten
c. 8 out of 10

Answer: b. or c.

The general rule for writing numbers and numerals is that we spell out numbers from one through nine and use numerals for ten and up. However, as with most rules, there are exceptions. In this case, because we’re using two numbers within the same sentence, we use the same format for both to be consistent. Which form you choose is between you and your style guide. I’m inclined to use the spelled out numbers but opinions differ.

The Yahoo! Style Guide provides more details about writing numbers and numerals.

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