[U.S. Government Printing Office Style Manual]
[Chapter 12 - Numerals]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


12.1.   Most rules for the use of numerals are based on the general 
        principle that the reader comprehends numerals more readily 
        than numerical word expressions, particularly in technical, 
        scientific, or statistical matter. However, for special 
        reasons, numbers are spelled out in certain instances, except 
        in FIC & punc. and Fol. Lit. matter. 

12.2. 	The following rules cover the most common conditions that 
        require a choice between the use of numerals and words. Some of 
        them, however, are based on typographic appearance rather than
         on the general principle stated above. 

12.3. 	Arabic numerals are preferable to Roman numerals. 

Numbers expressed in figures 
12.4. 	A figure is used for a single number of 10 or more with the 
        exception of the first word of the sentence. (See also rules 
        12.9 and 12.23.) 

          50 ballots                24 horses         nearly 13 buckets 
          10 guns                   about 40 men      10 times as large 

Numbers and numbers in series 
12.5. 	When 2 or more numbers appear in a sentence and 1 of them is 10 
        or larger, figures are used for each number. (See supporting 
        rule 12.6.) 

          Each of 15 major commodities (9 metal and 6 nonmetal) was in 
            supply. 
      but Each of nine major commodities (five metal and four nonmetal) 
        was in supply. 
          Petroleum came from 16 fields, of which 8 were discovered in 
            1956. 
      but Petroleum came from nine fields, of which eight were 
        discovered in 1956. 
          That man has 3 suits, 2 pairs of shoes, and 12 pairs of 
            socks. 
      but That man has three suits, two pairs of shoes, and four hats. 
          Of the 13 engine producers, 6 were farm equipment manufacturers, 
            6 were 
            principally engaged in the production of other types of 
              machinery, and 1  
            was not classified in the machinery industry. 
      but Only nine of these were among the large manufacturing 
        companies, and only 
            three were among the largest concerns. 
          There were three 6-room houses, five 4-room houses, and three 
            2-room cottages, and they were built by 20 carpenters. 
            (See rule 12.21.) 
          There were three six-room houses, five four-room houses, and 
            three two-room cottages, and they were built by nine 
            carpenters. 
      but If two columns of sums of money add or subtract one into the 
        other and one carries points and ciphers, the other should also 
        carry points and  ciphers. 
          At the hearing, only one Senator and one Congressman 
            testified. 
          There are four or five things that can be done. 

12.6. 	A unit of measurement, time, or money (as defined in rule 
        12.9), which is always expressed in fi gures, does not affect 
        the use of figures for other numerical expressions within a 
        sentence. 

          Each of the five girls earned 75 cents an hour. 

          Each of the 15 girls earned 75 cents an hour. 

          A team of four men ran the 1-mile relay in 3 minutes 20 
            seconds.
 
          This usually requires from two to five washes and a total 
            time of 2 to 4 hours.
 
          This usually requires 9 to 12 washes and a total time of 2 to 
            4 hours.
 
          The contractor, one engineer, and one surveyor inspected the 
            1-mile road. 

      but There were two six-room houses, three four-room houses, and 
          four two-room cottages, and they were built by nine workers 
          in thirty 5-day weeks. (See  rule 12.21.) 

12.7. 	Figures are used for serial numbers. 

            Bulletin 725                290 U.S. 325 
            Document 71                 Genesis 39:20 
            pages 352-357               202-512-0724 (telephone number) 
            lines 5 and 6               the year 2001  
            paragraph 1                 1721-1727 St. Clair Avenue  
            chapter 2               but Letters Patent No. 2,189,463 

12.8. 	A colon preceding figures does not affect their use. 

        The result was as follows: 12 voted yea, 4 dissented. 

        The result was as follows: nine voted yea, seven dissented. 


Measurement and time 
12.9. 	Units of measurement and time, actual or implied, are expressed 
        in figures. 

        a. Age: 

           6 years old                 a 3-year-old 

           52 years 10 months 6 days    at the age of 3 (years implied)


        b. Clock time (see also Time): 

          4:30 p.m.; half past 4 

          10 o'clock or 10 p.m. (not 10 o'clock p.m.; 2 p.m. in the 
            afternoon; 10:00 p.m.) 

          12 p.m. (12 noon) 

          12 a.m. (12 midnight) 

          4\h\30\m\ or 4.5\h\, in scientific work, if so written in copy 

          0025, 2359 (astronomical and military time) 

          08:31:04 (stopwatch reading)

        c. Dates: 

           9/11 (referring to the attack on the United States that 
                occurred on September 11, 2001) 
           June 1985 (not June, 1985); June 29, 1985 (not June 29th, 
             1985) 
           March 6 to April 15, 1990 (not March 6, 1990, to April 
             15, 1990) 
           May, June, and July 1965 (but June and July 1965) 15 April 
            1951; 15-17 April 1951 (military)
           4th of July (but Fourth of July, meaning the holiday) 
           the 1st [day] of the month (but the last of April or the 
             first [part] of May, not referring to specific days) 
           in the year 2000 (not 2,000) 

        In referring to a fiscal year, consecutive years, or a 
        continuous period of 2 years or more, when contracted, the 
        forms 1900-11, 1906-38, 1931-32, 1801-2, 1875-79 are used (but 
        upon change of century, 1895-1914 and to avoid multiple ciphers
        together, 2000-2001). For two or more separate years not 
        representing a continuous period, a comma is used instead of a 
        dash (1875, 1879); if the word from precedes the year or the 
        word inclusive follows it, the second year is not shortened and 
        the word to is used in lieu of the dash (from 1933 to 1936; 
        1935 to 1936, inclusive). 

        In dates, A.D. precedes the year (A.D. 937); B.C. follows the 
        year (254 B.C.); C.E. and B.C.E. follow the year. 

        d. Decimals: In text a cipher should be supplied before a 
           decimal point if there is no whole unit, and ciphers should 
           be omitted after a decimal point unless they indicate exact 
           measurement. 
 
           0.25 inch; 1.25 inches   but .30 caliber (meaning 0.30 
           silver 0.900 fine           inch, 
           specific gravity 0.9547     bore of small arms); 30 calibers  
           gauge height 10.0 feet      (length)  

        e. Use spaces to separate groups of three digits in a decimal 
           fraction. 
(See rule 12.27.)  

           0.123 456 789; but 0.1234  

        f. Degrees, etc. (spaces omitted):  

           longitude 77�04'06'' E.        but  
           35�30'; 35�30' N.              two degrees of justice; 12  
           a polariscopic test of 85�     degrees of freedom  
           an angle of 57�                32d degree Mason  
           strike N. 16� E.               150 million degrees Fahrenheit  
           dip 47� W. or 47� N. 31� W.    30 Fahrenheit degrees  
           25.5' (preferred) also 25'.5  
       
        g. Game scores:  

           1 up (golf)                    7 to 6 (football), etc.  
           3 to 2 (baseball)              2 all (tie)  

        h. Market quotations:  

           4� percent bonds               gold is 109  
           Treasury bonds sell at 95      wheat at 2.30  
           Metropolitan Railroad, 109     sugar, .03; not 0.03  
           Dow Jones average of 10500.76  

        i.   Mathematical expressions:  

             multiplied by 3              a factor of 2  
             divided by 6                 square root of 4  
 
        j. Measurements:  
 
           7 meters                       3 ems
           about 10 yards                 20/20 (vision)  
           8 by 12 inches                 30/30 (rifle)  
           8- by 12-inch page             12-gauge shotgun  
           2 feet by 1 foot 8 inches      2,500 horsepower  
             by 1 foot 3                  inches 15 cubic yards  
           2 by 4 (lumber) (not 2 x 4     6-pounder  
             or 2.4)                      80 foot-pounds  
           1� miles                       10s (for yarns and threads)  
           6 acres                        �l2.5 (lens aperture)  
           9 bushels                      six bales 
           1 gallon                       two dozen 
           but                            one gross 
           tenpenny nail 
                 zero miles 
           fourfold 
                      seven-story building 
           three-ply 
 
           five votes 


        k. Money: 

           $3.65; $0.75; 75 cents;        but 
             0.5 cent                     two pennies
           $3 (not $3.00) per             three quarters       
             200 pounds                   one half
           75 cents apiece 
               six bits, etc.       
           Rs32,25,644 (Indian rupees) 
          
           2.5 francs or fr2.5 
                 
           65 yen 

           P265 


        l. Percentage: 

           12 percent; 25.5 percent;      50-50 (colloquial expression) 
             0.5 percent (or one-half     5 percentage points 
             of 1 percent)                a 1,100-percent increase, or 
           thirty-four one hundredths of    an
             1 percent                    1100-percent increase 
           3.65 bonds; 3.65s; 5-20 bonds;  
           5-20s; 4�s; 3s 

        m. Proportion: 
 
           1 to 4                         1:62,500 
           
           1-3-5 

        n. Time (see also Clock time): 

           6 hours 8 minutes 20 seconds  but 
           10 years 3 months 29 days     four centuries 
           7 minutes                     three decades 
           8 days                        three quarters (9 months) 
           4 weeks                       statistics of any one year 
           1 month                       in a year or two 
           3 fiscal years;third 
             fiscal year                 four afternoons
           1 calendar year               one-half hour 
           millennium                    the eleventh hour
           FY 2010                       FY10


        o. Unit modifiers: 

           5-day week                    a 5-percent increase 
           8-year-old wine               20th-century progress 
           8-hour day 
           10-foot pole                  but 
           �-inch pipe                   two-story house 
           5-foot-wide entrance          five-member board 
           10-million-peso loan          $20 million airfield 

        p. Vitamins: 

           B\12\, B\T\, A\1\, etc. 

Ordinal numbers 
12.10. 	Except as indicated in rules 12.11 and 12.19, and also for day 
        preceding month, figures are used in text and footnotes to text 
        for serial ordinal numbers beginning with 10th. In tables, 
        leaderwork, footnotes to tables and leaderwork, and in 
        sidenotes, figures are used at all times. Military units are 
        expressed in figures at all times when not the beginning of a 
        sentence, except Corps. (For ordinals in addresses, see rule 
        12.13.) 

        29th of May, but May 29          eighth parallel; 38th parallel 
        First Congress; 102d Congress    fifth ward; 12th ward 
        ninth century; 21st century      ninth birthday; 66th birthday 
        Second Congressional District;   first grade; 11th grade
          20th Congressional District    1st Army 
        seventh region; 17th region      1st Cavalry Division 
        323d Fighter Wing                
        12th Regiment                    but 
        9th Naval District               XII Corps (Army usage) 
        7th Fleet                        Court of Appeals for the 
                                           Tenth Circuit
        7th Air Force                    
        7th Task Force                   Seventeenth Decennial Census 
                                           (title) 

12.11. 	When ordinals appear in juxtaposition and one of them is 10th 
        or more, figures are used for such ordinal numbers. 

          This legislation was passed in the 1st session of the 
            102d Congress. 
          He served in the 9th and 10th Congresses. 
          From the 1st to the 92d Congress.
 
          Their children were in 1st, 2d, 3d, and 10th grades. 

          We read the 8th and 12th chapters. 

      but The district comprised the first and second precincts. 

          He represented the first, third, and fourth regions.
 
          The report was the sixth in a series of 14. 


12.12. 	Ordinals and numerals appearing in a sentence are treated 
        according to the separate rules dealing with ordinals and 
        numerals standing alone or in a group. (See rules 12.4, 12.5, 
        and 12.24.) 

          The fourth group contained three items. 

          The fourth group contained 12 items. 

          The 8th and 10th groups contained three and four items,
            respectively. 

          The eighth and ninth groups contained 9 and 12 items, 
            respectively. 


12.13. 	Beginning with 10th, fi gures are used in text matter for 
        numbered streets, avenues, etc. However, figures are used at 
        all times and street, avenue, etc. are abbreviated in 
        sidenotes, tables, leaderwork, and footnotes to tables and 
        leaderwork. 

          First Street NW.; also in parentheses: (Fifth Street) 
            (13th Street); 810 West 
          12th Street; North First Street; 1021 121st Street; 2031 18th 
            Street North; 711 
          Fifth Avenue; 518 10th Avenue; 51-35 61st Avenue 

Punctuation 
12.14. 	The comma is used in a number containing four or more digits, 
        except in serial numbers, common and decimal fractions, 
        astronomical and military time, and kilocycles and meters of 
        not more than four figures pertaining to radio. 

Chemical formulas 
12.15. 	In chemical formulas full-sized fi gures are used before the 
        symbol or group of symbols to which they relate, and inferior 
        figures are used after the symbol. 

                            6PbS(Ag,Cu)\2\S2As\2\S\3\O\4\ 

Numbers spelled out 
12.16. 	Spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence or head. 
        Rephrase a sentence or head to avoid beginning with figures. 
        (See rule 12.25 for related numbers.) 

          Five years ago * * *; not 5 years ago * * * 

          Five hundred fi fty men hired * * *; not 550 men hired * * * 

          ``Five-Year Plan Announced''; not ``5-Year Plan Announced'' 
           (head) 

          The year 2065 seems far off * * *; not 2065 seems far off * * *
        
  Workers numbering 207,843 * * *; not 207,843 workers * * * 

          Benefits of $69,603,566 * * *; not $69,603,566 worth of benefits 
            * * * 


          1958 report change to the 1958 report 
          $3,000 budgeted change to the sum of $3,000 budgeted 
          4 million jobless change to jobless number 4 million 

12.17. 	In verbatim testimony, hearings, transcripts, and question-and-
        answer matter, figures are used immediately following Q. and A. 
        or name of interrogator or witness for years (e.g., 2008), sums 
        of money, decimals, street numbers, and for numerical 
        expressions beginning with 101. 

          Mr. Birch, Junior. 2008 was a good year. 

          Mr. Bell. $1 per share was the return. Two dollars in 1956 was 
            the alltime 
high. Two thousand ten may be another story. 
          Colonel Davis. 92 cents. 
          Mr. Smith. 12.8 people. 
          Mr. Jones. 1240 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004. 
          Mr. Smith. Ninety-eight persons. 
          Q. 101 years? But Q. One hundred years? 
          A. 200 years. 

          Mr. Smith. Ten-year average would be how much? 


12.18. 	A spelled-out number should not be repeated in figures, except 
        in legal documents. In such instances use these forms: 

          five (5) dollars, not five dollars (5) 

          ten dollars ($10), not ten ($10) dollars 


12.19. 	Numbers appearing as part of proper names, used in a 
        hypothetical or inexact sense, or mentioned in connection with 
        serious and dignified subjects such as Executive orders, legal  
        proclamations, and in formal writing are spelled out. 

          Three Rivers, PA, Fifteenmile     three score years and ten 
              Creek, etc.                   Ten Commandments 
          the Thirteen Original States      Air Force One (Presidential
          in the year two thousand eight      plane) 
          the One Hundred Tenth Congress    back to square one 
          millions for defense but not one  behind the eight ball 
              cent for tribute 	            our policy since day one 

12.20. 	If spelled out, whole numbers should be set in the following 
        form: 

          two thousand twenty 
          one thousand eight hundred fifty 
          one hundred fifty-two thousand three hundred five 

          eighteen hundred fifty (serial number) 


        When spelled out, any number containing a fraction or piece of 
        a whole should use the word ``and'' when stating the fraction or 
        piece: 

          sixty-two dollars and four cents 
          ninety-nine and three-tenths degrees 
          thirty-three and seventy-five one-hundredths shares 

12.21. 	Numbers below 100 preceding a compound modifier 
        containing a figure are spelled out. 

          two 3/4-inch boards               but 
          twelve 6-inch guns                120 8-inch boards 
          two 5-percent discounts           three four-room houses 

12.22.	Indefinite expressions are spelled out. 

          the seventies; the early          midthirties (age, years, 
            seventies;                        money) 
            but the early 1870s or 1970s    a thousand and one reasons 
          in his eighties, not his '80's     
            nor '80's                       but
          between two and three  
            hundred                         1 to 3 million   
            horses (better between 200      mid-1971; mid-1970s
              and 300 horses)               40-odd people; nine-odd 
                                              people 
          twelvefold; thirteenfold; 
            fortyfold;                      40-plus people 
              hundredfold; twentyfold       100-odd people   
              to thirtyfold                 3�-fold; 250-fold; 
                                              2.5-fold; 41-fold 

        Words such as nearly, about, around, approximately, etc., do 
        not reflect indefinite expressions. 

          The bass weighed about 6 pounds. 
          She was nearly 8 years old. 

12.23. 	Except as indicated in rules 12.5 and 12.9, a number less than 
        10 is spelled out within a sentence. 

          six horses                        but 
          five wells                        3� cans 
          eight times as large              2� times or 2.5 times 

12.24. 	For typographic appearance and easy grasp of large numbers 
        beginning with million, the word million or billion is used. 
        
        The following are guides to treatment of figures as submitted 
        in copy. If copy reads--

          $12,000,000, change to $12 million
 
          2,750,000,000 dollars, change to $2,750 million 

          2.7 million dollars, change to $2.7 million 
          2 3/8 million dollars, change to $2 3/8 million 
          two and one-half million dollars, change to $2� million 
          a hundred cows, change to 100 cows
          a thousand dollars, change to $1,000 
          a million and a half, change to 1� million 
          two thousand million dollars, change to $2,000 million 
          less than a million dollars, change to less than $1 million 
     but  $2,700,000, do not convert to $2.7 million 
     also $10 to $20 million; 10 or 20 million; between 10 and 20 
            million 
          4 million of assets 
          amounting to 4 million 
          $1,270,000 
          $1,270,200,000 
          $2 3/4 billion; $2.75 billion; $2,750 million 
          $500,000 to $1 million 
          300,000; not 300 thousand
          $� billion to $1� billion (note full figure with 
            second fraction); $1� 1to $1� billion 

          three-quarters of a billion dollars 

          5 or 10 billion dollars� worth 


12.25. 	Related numbers appearing at the beginning of a sentence, 
        separated by no more than three words, are treated alike. 

          Fifty or sixty more miles away is snowclad Mount Everest. 
          Sixty and, quite often, seventy listeners responded. 
      but Fifty or, in some instances, almost 60 applications were filed. 

Fractions 
12.26. 	Mixed fractions are always expressed in figures. Fractions 
        standing alone, however, or if followed by of a or of an, are 
        generally spelled out. (See also rule 12.28.) 

          three-fourths of an inch; not 3/4        two one-hundredths 
            inch nor 3/4 of an inch                one-thousandth 
          one-half inch                            five one-thousandths 
          one-half of a farm; not � of a farm      thirty-five one-
                                                     thousandths 
          one-fourth inch                          but 
          seven-tenths of 1 percent                � to 1 3/4  
                                                     pages 
          three-quarters of an inch                �-inch pipe 
          half an inch                             �-inch-diameter 
                                                     pipe 
          a quarter of an inch                     3� cans 
          one-tenth portion                        2� times 
          one-hundredth 

12.27. 	Fractions (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 3/8, 5/8, 7/8, 1/2954) or 
        full-sized figures with the shilling mark (1/4, 1/2954) may be 
        used only when either is specifi cally requested. A comma 
        should not be used in any part of a built-up fraction of four 
        or more digits or in decimals. (See rule 12.9e.) 

12.28. 	Fractions are used in a unit modifier. 

          �-inch pipe; not   �-mile run     7/8-point rise  
            one-half-inch pipe 

Roman numerals 
12.29. 	A repeated letter repeats its value; a letter placed after one 
        of greater value adds to it; a letter placed before one of 
        greater value subtracts from it; a dashline over a letter 
        denotes multiplied by 1,000. 


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