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# Correct usage of numbers in essays

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CEO
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Correct usage of numbers in essays [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2007, 20:07
Hi All,

Can someone clarify, or point to, the rules regarding usage of numbers in essays.

For instance which one of the following is correct :

I have done this for 20 years
or
I have done this for twenty years

Me and my team of 5 were sacked
or
Me and my team of five were sacked

Rule number 1: dont date someone at work
or
Rule number one: dont date someone at work

I lost 10% on this deal
or
I lost ten percent on this deal

I was 20 when I started working fulltime
or
I was twenty when I started working fulltime

My net worth is 13 million dollars
or
My net worth is thirteen million dollars (don't worry , its not in reality)

cheers.
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28 Dec 2007, 20:51
For essays, I generally use numerals up to 9, and then written out expressions for ten and above. For dollars I'd put $13M. Different newspapers actually have their own conventions for how to express numbers and people designations, etc. For the sentence about football I'd use correct grammar and say 'My team of 5 and I were sacked'. You can see this by simplifying the sentence. You wouldn't say 'me was/were sacked'; you would say 'I was sacked'. So expand from there. I was sacked --> My team was sacked --> My team and I were sacked --> My team of 5 and I were sacked. You would never use 'me' in any of those sentences. CEO Joined: 17 May 2007 Posts: 2986 Followers: 60 Kudos [?]: 591 [0], given: 210 ### Show Tags 28 Dec 2007, 20:54 Cheers mate pelihu wrote: For essays, I generally use numerals up to 9, and then written out expressions for ten and above. For dollars I'd put$13M. Different newspapers actually have their own conventions for how to express numbers and people designations, etc. For the sentence about football I'd use correct grammar and say 'My team of 5 and I were sacked'. You can see this by simplifying the sentence. You wouldn't say 'me was/were sacked'; you would say 'I was sacked'. So expand from there.

I was sacked --> My team was sacked --> My team and I were sacked --> My team of 5 and I were sacked. You would never use 'me' in any of those sentences.
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28 Dec 2007, 20:58
According to the Associated Press Style Book:
" Spell out first through ninth when they indicate sequence in time or location: first base, the First Amendment, he was first in line. Starting with 10th use figures.

Use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. when the sequence has been assigned in forming names. The principal examples are geographic, military and political designations such as 1st Ward, 7th Fleet and 1st Sgt.

In general, spell out whole numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above. Example: They had a fleet of 10 station wagons and two buses."

Also, specifically for millions and billions, it says to use figures in all except casual uses. "I'd like to make a billion dollars." But: The nation has 1 million citizens. I need \$7 billion."
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CEO
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28 Dec 2007, 23:53
Ok how about the scenario where I need to discuss two figures in the same context, one below 10 and one above 10. I feel its more consistent to either spell both or use figures for both ?

e.g.
Initially I thought I had lost five percent, however, my real loss was 15% ?
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29 Dec 2007, 01:03
bsd_lover wrote:
Ok how about the scenario where I need to discuss two figures in the same context, one below 10 and one above 10. I feel its more consistent to either spell both or use figures for both ?

e.g.
Initially I thought I had lost five percent, however, my real loss was 15% ?

I am not an expert, haven't submitted any apps yet. So it might be just my opinion.
But there is no way a reasonable person will give weightage to the fact that you are writing "Five" in place of 5.
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29 Dec 2007, 07:34
I read that you should spell out numbers up to two words so that basically covers all numbers through one hundred. I don't think it will matter as long as you are consistent.
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Re: Correct usage of numbers in essays [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2007, 08:04
So, let me understand... Your essays goes something like this?

Since My net worth is 13 million dollars, I was 20 when I started working fulltime. Let me tell you: Rule number 1: dont date someone at work!. As a result, Me and my team of 5 were sacked. Even if I have done this for 20 years!
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Re: Correct usage of numbers in essays [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2007, 10:38
Quote:
Rule number 1: dont date someone at work!. As a result, Me and my team of 5 were sacked. Even if I have done this for 20 years!

Makes a great mistakes essay, doesn't it?
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29 Dec 2007, 11:50
pelihu wrote:
For essays, I generally use numerals up to 9, and then written out expressions for ten and above.

I've always done the exact opposite...

Either way, I don't think anyone will give it a second thought.

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29 Dec 2007, 13:05
The most important thing is to be consistent. Pick a way and go with it.

Really, after 6 months in business school, the finer points of writing seem low on everyone's list of priorities.
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29 Dec 2007, 13:12
aaudetat wrote:
The most important thing is to be consistent. Pick a way and go with it.

Really, after 6 months in business school, the finer points of writing seem low on everyone's list of priorities.

Yar.
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Re: Correct usage of numbers in essays [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2007, 02:05
That does explain my dings so far

rhyme wrote:
So, let me understand... Your essays goes something like this?

Since My net worth is 13 million dollars, I was 20 when I started working fulltime. Let me tell you: Rule number 1: dont date someone at work!. As a result, Me and my team of 5 were sacked. Even if I have done this for 20 years!
GMAT Club Legend
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Re: Correct usage of numbers in essays [#permalink]

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30 Dec 2007, 10:13
bsd_lover wrote:
That does explain my dings so far

Re: Correct usage of numbers in essays   [#permalink] 30 Dec 2007, 10:13
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