# Learn how to use numbers in writing with Zia. Is it 200 or two hundred?

Before we dive into the specific rules and guidelines for using numbers, the answer to the above question is 200. The general rule is that only numbers below 10 are written out as words, and all others should stay in the numeral form. But as with all rules, there are always exceptions.

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## Spell out numbers at the beginning of sentences

If a sentence starts with a number, it should always be spelled out.

80 people boarded a plane to Amsterdam last night.

Eighty people boarded a plane to Amsterdam last night.

Here's a tip: You can always simply rearrange the sentence so it doesn't start with a number.

15 new fiction novels were on display.

There were 15 new fiction novels on display.

## Use numerals for lists of numbers

For the sake of easy reading, whenever you're writing a sentence with a consecutive series of numbers, it's often better to write them in their numerical form.

Liam has three brothers, aged 4, 7, and 15.

Liam has three brothers, aged four, seven, and fifteen.

## Keep percentages, decimals, and fractions in numeral form

It's okay to write percentages, decimals, and fractions in their numerical forms for better clarity and accuracy. This may come up frequently if you're writing technical content or news reports.

In the survey, thirty-six point five percent of the people said they prefer cold beverages.

In the survey, 36.5% of the people said they prefer cold beverages.

## Use numerals for specific times

When you're talking about the specific time of the day, use numerals.

They did not leave the party until two a.m.

They did not leave the party until 2 a.m.

However, when you talk about time using the phrase "o'clock", be sure to spell out the number.

We have to get up at 6 o'clock to be on time for school.

We have to get up at six o'clock to be on time for school.

## Ensure paired numbers are clearly separated

We sometimes need to pair two numbers next to each other in a single sentence, and that can lead to confusion if they're not distinctly separated. That's why it's often preferable to spell out one of these numbers.

There were 12 4-year-old children waiting for the librarian to begin story time.

There were twelve 4-year-old children waiting for the librarian to begin story time.

There were 12 four-year-old children waiting for the librarian to begin story time.

## Use numerals with currency and other symbols

When using abbreviations for units of measurement in your writing, always express numbers as numerals. Similarly, when writing about money, use numerals with the dollar sign or other currency symbols.

One inch is equal to 2.54 cm.

The weight of an average hippopotamus is 1,500 kg.

She earned \$2,750 for that project.

Having said all this, it can still be tricky to decide whether a certain number should be written out in full or not. There's an easier way: Why don't you sit back, relax and let Zia take care of it for you?

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