Spell out whole numbers below 10 and use figures for 10 and above.

  • Nine minutes, six years, 10 guests, the 22nd day.

When the number is four digits or longer, separate with commas rather than spaces or periods.

  • 5,000 not 5000.

For large numbers, it is better to use words or a combination of words and numbers.

  • Write 1.4 million rather than 1,400,000. Write one million rather than 1,000,000.

Use figures in addresses (9 Elizabeth Avenue), in ages standing along after a name (Melanie, 3, has two brothers), in dates and years (AD 3, Dec. 8, 2003),

Spell out at the start of a sentence, if you must start with a number.

  • Twenty to 30 escaped unharmed.

Do not spell out the year at the start, but avoid: 1972 was a leap year.

For the plural of numbers, including decades, do not use an apostrophe before the "s".

  • The 1960s were exciting.
  • Give me all the 10s and 20s.

(For percentages, see the Spelling dictionary section.)