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whats better in digits - (Oct/07/2008 )

Its better to write 5 or five or there is any rule that no. below 5 is to spell out or above 5 have to write it out.


In scientific writing, it is normal to write out numbers only if they are at the beginning of a sentence.


One hundred microlitres of buffer were added to the mixture.

If they are within a sentence, numbers are given with the numeral.


The reaction contained 1 µl 2.5 mM dTNPs, 5 µl 5X buffer, and water to 30 µl.

In non-scientific formal writing, (such as a book or newspaper, or official correspondence) it is preferable to write out all the numbers.


The Vikings made landfall in North America more than one thousand years ago.


I have been working in industry for five years.

In informal writing (such as writing an email to a friend) using digits is fine


See you in 15 minutes!


-Ginger Spice-

In Germany there is the rule that you write out all numbers below 12 and write them as number above, so like "eleven" and "13". But I would stick to Gingers rules if you write in english.


In the US, the rule has varied over time for non-scientific formal writing. My mother was taught to write out all numbers below 100, while my sibling and I were taught to write out the numbers Ten and below, while all of us were taught to also write out nice, "round" numbers such as five thousand or two million. I actually prefer the older rule to the newer one.