Numbers in a paragraph

How to write numbers in a paragraph

Spell out whole-number words for one to ten; use figures for numbers above ten.

If there are two or more numbers in one sentence, please use either words or figures for easy reading.

If there are a lot of numbers in one paragraph or text, some above ten and some below, use figures throughout to allow easy comparison by readers.

Spell out words for ‘first’, ‘second’ and so on up to and including ‘tenth’; use numbers and ‘st’/ ‘nd’/ ‘rd’/ ‘th’ for larger ordinal numbers. Don’t use superscript (to prevent problems with line spacing).

With hundred and thousand there is a choice of using figures or words:

Note that the numbers 1 through 10 are not spelt out in the following cases: seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, but two decades, three centuries.

As a rule, avoid combining single-digit figures and words using hyphens

NOTE: some set phrases do use numbers

When two numbers are adjacent, spell out one of them:

A sentence starting with a figure will often look out of place. Consider writing it out in full or inverting the word order.

However, a sentence beginning with a percentage may start with a figure:


Language Boutique 'Writing Numbers – Periods or Commas?' Retrieved from

University of Oxford Style Guide 'How to write numbers'. Retrieved from