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    #1

    Question Numbers in sentence writing

    I was told that number 7, when in the middle of a sentence(handwritten) does not take its trace. Is that true?

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    The standard rule is that any numeral less than 10 should be written out ("one" instead of 1, "seven" instead of 7, etc.).

  2. #3

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    May I add, that it also depends on how formal the text is. In formal texts (e.g. essays) we usually do that to all numbers (>10 as well)

    EDIT: Unless of course if we're talking about a number like 1.333.294 ;)

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    Quote Originally Posted by Manuela Rocha View Post
    I was told that number 7, when in the middle of a sentence(handwritten) does not take its trace. Is that true?
    By trace, do you mean the horizontal line that is sometimes used to cross the stem of a 7?

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    #5

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    Yes, I do. Can you use "trace" to refer to that horizontal line?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    Quote Originally Posted by Manuela Rocha View Post
    Yes, I do. Can you use "trace" to refer to that horizontal line?
    I don't know. I am from the US and we rarely use that. It is mostly a European thing. As such, I can't answer your question about its use in the middle of a sentence. Perhaps some Europeans can comment.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 18-Nov-2006 at 23:23.

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    #7

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    In Britain, it's more common without the trace, but some do use it.

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    #8

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    In Europe, the 7 (wherever it is written) usually has a horizontal bar (to give it a more technical name) to distinguish it from a 1. In Britain and America, the 1 is usually written as a single vertical stroke, so confusion with 7 is less likely -- so we don't usually write 7 with a horizontal bar (although it is not wrong to write it that way).

    It doesn't matter whether it comes in the middle of a sentence or not -- you should be consistent.

    On Ouisch's point, it is usual in prose to write out numbers as words when they can be written in one word, or sometimes two: seven, eighteen, fifty, a hundred; and sometimes also twenty-three, eight thousand; but 143, 8,436. In mathematical or scientific contexts, such as when you are writing equations, you always write the digits: 1+2=3. Year numbers are always written as digits.

    I should also point out to Mariner that in English-speaking countries, we use the full stop as a decimal point, and the comma to separate thousands -- the exact opposite to the usual European style. (You can also separate thousands with spaces.)

    1.435 = one point four three five
    1,435 = one thousand four hundred and thirty-five.

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    #9

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    Hi! Thanks for the explanation. Are there any other differences in handwriting apart from the two numbers and a comma and a full stop? I mean in Europe and in English speaking countries. I wonder if there are any differences in letter-writing too. Individual or also the slant...
    Any ideas?

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    #10

    Re: Numbers in sentence writing

    What do you mean about the comma and the full stop?

    By the way, I'm American, and if I were writing my phone number for you on a piece of paper with a pen, I would cross my 7s.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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