### Directories

• Contact UComm
• myPSU

# Editorial Style Guide | Numbers

This is the general rule when using numbers in text: Spell out one to nine; use numerals for 10 and above; use a combination of numerals and words for 1,000,000 or more.

• When Bill was eight years old, he wanted to become a major league third baseman, but by the time he was 18 he realized that coaching was a more realistic choice. Of course, coaching meant giving up his dream of a \$10 million contract.

It is usually best to spell out one number and use numerals for the other when numbers are adjacent.

• In the classroom were 12 five-foot-high podiums.
• The professor needed 150 twenty-page booklets.

## commas

Use a comma with numbers of more than three digits. (SAT scores are an exception.)

• Emmy's new book has 1,390 pages.
• Ripley's SAT score was 1390.

## exceptions to the general rule

Use numerals for percentages, decimals, credits, GPAs, book chapters and page numbers, and quantities combining whole numbers and fractions except at the beginning of a sentence.

• Only 2 percent of the class passed the test.
• Don's GPA is 3.73.
• The class turned to Chapter 3, page 9.
• The requirement includes 4 credits in biology.

### money

• The refund check was for \$8.97.
• The used book cost \$3, but the new one was \$24.95.
• Jack paid \$800 for the car, painted it, and sold it for \$1,250.

### fractions

• The page is 8-1/2 inches wide.
• Professor Williams gave A's to one-fifth of the class.
• Two-thirds of the class took careful notes.

### beginning a sentence

When a number begins a sentence, either spell out the number or rephrase the sentence.

• Seven hundred fifty-two students received certificates of merit.
• More than 750 students received certificates of merit.

### casual use

Spell out numbers when used casually.

• A thousand times no!

### more than 1,000,000

Use a combination of numbers and words when using numbers of 1,000,000 or more.

• Alfonso gave the library \$1.3 million.

## inclusive numbers

Use a hyphen in tables or charts.

• pages 834-35
• pages 834-910
• 1994-96
• 1894-1975

Do not use hyphens with inclusive numbers in text, except when the numbers are in parentheses.

• Calvin taught history from 1971 to 1998.
• Calvin taught history at San Jose State (1971-72), Utah (1972-82), and Portland State (1982-98).

## invitations

Only in the most formal of invitations are numbers spelled out. If your event is black- or white-tie only, for example, spell out all numbers. Otherwise, follow the general rule.

## ordinals

Spell out ordinal numbers first through ninth; use numerals for 10th and above.

• Betsy came in fourth out of 1,230 runners, but Jennifer was 124th.
• Pat taught a course in 18th-century literature.

## sport scores

Use numerals and hyphens.

• The final score was 45-18.
• PSU won 8-3.

## telephone numbers

Include the area code in all numbers (except campus numbers in internal campus publications). Do not place parentheses around area codes.