Know when to combine words and numbers

Use a combination of figures and words to express rounded large numbers, starting with millions (a grant budget of $1.5 million; almost 4 billion species).

Numerals and words are also combined when they appear as back-to-back modifiers (two 13-ml aliquots). Generally it is best to keep the numeric form with units of measurement. Hyphenation minimizes potential confusion (twenty 6-year-old patients vs. twenty-six year-old patients). If more than two numbers appear back-to-back in a string (six 3-5 day intervals), rewrite the phrase (six intervals of 3-5 days each).

You may spell out whichever number can more easily be expressed in words. Sometimes these combinations are awkward to read; in these cases, spelling out both numbers is preferred.

Awkward: The 1st three animals; the first 3 animals Better: the first three animals

0 0

Post a comment