The hall clock was wrong; it showed eight thirty. No, it showed eight forty-five. _ do not use a hyphen to join hours and minutes. I have seen advice on several Internet sites that says you do use a hyphen in such cases, except when the rest of the number is already hyphenated. . so theyd have you write two-twenty but two twenty-five. This doesnt make much sense, although there may be a style guide out there recommending such punctuation (and may provide a valid reason for it).
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Incorrect _ Use argumentative lower case letters with periods or small caps without periods for. _ Include a space between the numbers and. M., but no space within. _ Spell out numbers when you include oclock. But he did wait writing until after five oclock to call. _ Use numerals to emphasize exact times, except in dialogue. She pointed out that it was still 5:43 in the morning. She looked out into the darkness. . The robbery took place at 2:22. _ Spell out words for the hour, quarter, and half hours.
Think flow in the visuals as well as in the words. What will make sense to the reader and keep him from tripping over your style choices? Time _ Use numerals when you include. M., but you dont have to use. It was 5:43. When he got me assignment out of bed. Correct It was five forty-three.
Nobody gave a hundred percent. The baby weighed seven pounds eleven ounces. Its fourteen degrees out there! The of crimes hed committed kept rising. Incorrect online The chasm looked at least. Incorrect The roadster crept along at no more than 28 mph. Incorrect Note : Youre writing fiction.
Do not abbreviate the words pounds or ounces, feet or inches ( or yards hours or minutes or seconds, or miles per hour (or similar words) in dialogue or narrative. An exception might include something like stretches of text where you note the changing speeds of a car but dont want to repeat miles per hour again and again. Your use of mph becomes a style choice. You might find other exceptions in headers and chapter titles. You can, of course, use symbols in titles and headers if you want. For example, in geo-political thrillers, stories that jump all over the world and back again, headers might show longitude and latitude and the degree symbol would come in handy. If you do include full compass coordinates in the narrative, using numerals and the symbols for degrees, minutes, and seconds might be the best choice in terms of clarity and ease of reading. But I dont have a million dollars.
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Some nine not greater than small one hundred, so spelled out million years ago, the inhabitants of Ekron migrated to our solar system. The family had collected the pennies, 433 greater than one hundred million of them, over eighty years. But for large numbers with decimals, even if the number is less than 101, use the numeral version. The team needed.5 million signatures for their petition. Yet since we want to hear the words, you true could just as easily write— the team needed ten and a half million signatures for their petition. This last example works both for narration and dialogue.
But for dialogue you could also write— the team needed ten point five million. _ Use words rather than symbols and abbreviations in dialogue and in most narrative. Symbols are a visual representation, but characters need to think and speak the words. Use the words rather than the symbols for degree and percent and number both in dialogue and narrative. Use the word dollar rather than the dollar sign in dialogue.
If spelling creates something awkward, rewrite. One hundred and fifteen not 115 waiters applied for the job. _ Hyphenate compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine. Do this when the number is used alone and when used in combination with other numbers. Louise owned forty-one cars. I heard she owned one hundred and thirty-five diamond rings.
_ For an easier read, when numbers are written side by side, write one as a numeral and the other as a word. He made 5 one-hundred-pound cakes. We lashed 3 six-foot ladders together. _ Spell out simple fractions and hyphenate them. He took only one-half of yesterdays vote. He needed a two-thirds majority to win the election. _ For the most part, treat large numbers, made large by being paired with the words million, billion, and so on, just as you would other numbers.
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Wed write the eighty-second Airborne division but the 101st Airborne division. (Newspapers and military publications may have different conventions.) A restaurant would be on Fifth avenue, not business 5th avenue. Or the restaurant is on 129th Street, not One hundred and twenty-ninth Street. A quick guide to ordinals— no ordinal for zero twentieth first twenty-first second twenty-second third and. Fourth fifth* sixth thirtieth (thirty-first, thirty-second, and so on) seventh fortieth eighth fiftieth ninth sixtieth tenth seventieth eleventh eightieth twelfth ninetieth thirteenth fourteenth one hundredth fifteenth* one thousandth sixteenth one millionth seventeenth eighteenth nineteenth The only odd ordinals are those using fives— fifth. Note the letter d in both hundredth and thousandth. _ Use full-size letters, not superscript, to mark ordinal numbers (st, nd, rd, th) written as numerals. _ Use first, second, third and so on rather than firstly, secondly, thirdly unless your character would use this odd construction as part of her style. _ Spell out numbers that start a sentence. .
Incorrect spell out these same numbers (0-100) even if theyre followed by hundred or thousand. (Your characters may have reason to say or think all manner of odd numbers, so yes, zero thousand might come up, even though this isnt a common usage in our 3-D lives.). The forces at Wilmington were bolstered by the arrival plot of ten thousand fresh soldiers. The knight had died four hundred years earlier. But —The knight had died 418 years earlier. How many thousands of lies have you told? Ive told zero thousand, you fool. _ Spell out ordinal numbers through one hundred as well—even for military units and street names. Ordinal numbers are often used to show relationship and rank.
most numbers beyond one hundred. While this is the standard, there are definitely exceptions to this one. The witch offered Snow White one crisp, dewy apple. Bobby sue sang thirty-two songs before her voice gave out. The rock-a-thon lasted for just over 113 hours. The witch offered Snow White 1 crisp, dewy apple.
Yet were talking fiction here, not a treatise or dissertation or scientific finding. And style choices sometimes get to stomp all over the rules. If you want to flout the rules, do so for a reason and do so consistently every time that same reason is applicable in the manuscript. For business a comprehensive list of the rules concerning numbers, check out the. Chicago manual of Style or another style guide. general Rules spell out numbers from zero through one hundred. You could argue for zero through nine, as is recommended for ap style, but do note that the recommendations in the.
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Https m / numbers / numbers. Asp, the Chicago manual of Style recommends spelling out the numbers zero through one hundred and using figures thereafter—except for whole numbers used in combination with hundred, thousand, hundred thousand, million, database billion, and beyond (e.g., two hundred; twenty-eight thousand; three hundred thousand; one million). Subscribe to, rss, feed, january 13, 2013 by fiction Editor Beth Hill last modified September 9, 2015, weve got rules and standards for everything we include in our novels—how to start those novels, how to increase tension, how to introduce characters, how to format, what. And we have rules for numbers. Or maybe we should call all these rules conventions. This article covers a few common specifics of using numbers and numerals in fiction. Im just going to list the rules here, without much explanation, laying out those that youll typically make use of in a novel. Keep in mind that there are always exceptions. . For the most part, youll want to stick to the standards to make the read smooth and easy for the reader and create consistency within the manuscript.