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Grammar Tips & Tidbits


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Writing Numbers: Part III


Welcome to Part III of the "Writing Numbers" series. If you missed the first two installments, you can  read them here:  Part I and Part II.

The following rules come from The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation website, courtesy of Jane Straus.¹ You can view additional tips, read Jane's blog, or purchase her book at the following website: http://www.grammarbook.com. Jane's site also includes tons of free quizzes so you can test your knowledge. If you can't get enough grammar quizzes, you're in luck. Jane just launched a subscription area containing over 100 interactive quizzes!

Rules for Writing Numbers: Part III
by Jane Straus

Rule 13 Normally, spell out the time of day in text even with half and quarter hours. With o'clock, the number is always spelled out.
  Examples She gets up at four thirty before the baby wakes up.
    The baby wakes up at five o'clock in the morning.
Rule 14 Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized.
  Examples Monib's flight leaves at 6:22 a.m.
    Please arrive by 12:30 p.m. sharp.
Rule 15 Use noon and midnight rather than 12:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m.
Rule 16 Hyphenate all compound numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine.
  Examples Forty-three people were injured in the train wreck.
    Twenty-three of them were hospitalized.
Rule 17 Write out a number if it begins a sentence.
  Example Twenty-nine people won an award for helping their communities.
    That 29 people won an award for helping their communities was fantastic!


I hope you've enjoyed this three-part series on writing numbers. The rules aren't always logical or easy to remember, so be sure to add the Grammar Tips & Tidbits Archive to your bookmarks or favorites folder for future reference.

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1.  Straus, Jane. "Rules for Writing Numbers." The Blue Book of Grammar
     and Punctuation
. http://www.grammarbook.com/numbers/numbers.asp.
     Published with permission.