Numbers in Sentences

Explanation

PerfectIt checks if numerals appear in sentences. It will suggest there may be a possible error if numerals appear in some sentences while numbers are spelled out in other sentences. PerfectIt only raises an error if the numbers are from a similar grouping. In other words, it will find an error if the number ‘4’ and the word ‘seven’ are both used but it will not find an error if the number ‘4’ and the word ‘twenty-seven’ are both used. The default categories for this split are:

  • Numbers from 1 to 10

  • Numbers from 11 to 20

  • Numbers from 21 to 99

Caution

Style guides often suggest that authors should spell numbers out rather than use numerals in sentences. However, they typically suggest that there are instances where numerals are preferred.

Such usage varies between guides but may include numerals for:

  • Numbers expressed in thousands, millions, billions, etc [e.g. 4 billion]

  • Ages [e.g. 12 years old]

  • Measurements [e.g. 23 miles]

  • Ranges [e.g. 4 to 7]

  • Categories/lists of groups [e.g. 7 of 10 dentists]

  • Ordinals [e.g. 4th, 6th]

PerfectIt has been designed to focus on instances where numerals in sentences are most likely to be errors. As a result, PerfectIt usually will not find an error if the usage is in any of the above categories.

Customizing the Check image0

You can set preferences for numbers in sentences in the Settings tab of the style sheet editor. You can set a preference for each range of numbers separately. In addition, you can switch the ranges to check to:

  • Numbers from 0 to 9

  • Numbers from 10 to 19

  • Numbers from 20 to 99

For more information on customizing this check, see Working with PerfectIt Style Sheets: Settings and see the advanced options in Working with PerfectIt Style Sheets: Fine-Tuning. It is also possible to customize the check as you work.