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Spell out cardinal and ordinal numbers one through nine. Use numerals for numbers 10 and above. Examples:

  • Three, third, nine, 10, 15th, 93, 100

Letters in ordinal numbers should not appear as superscripts (e.g., 122nd, not 122nd).

The same rules apply to round numbers in the millions and billions. Examples:

  • eight billion, 10 million people, 140 million people

Use numerals in scores, court decisions, and legislative votes (with an en dash). Examples:

  • a 7–5 victory, a 5–4 ruling, a Senate vote of 34–23

Spell out imprecise numbers. Example:

  • More than a thousand UMass students are studying abroad.


The spelled-out “percent” is preferred in printed publications, although % may be used on webpages, in data tables, or in lists.

Always use numerals in front of the word “percent” unless the number begins a sentence.


  • There is a 7 percent solution. (not seven percent)
  • Seven percent of zero is still zero.


Use No. as the abbreviation for number to indicate position or rank: 

  • UMass Amherst is ranked the No. 1 public research university in New England.