# Thread: Numbers in sentence writing

1. ## 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?

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.).

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 ;)

4. ## Re: Numbers in sentence writing

Originally Posted by Manuela Rocha
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?

5. ## Re: Numbers in sentence writing

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

6. ## Re: Numbers in sentence writing

Originally Posted by Manuela Rocha
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.

7. ## Re: Numbers in sentence writing

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

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.

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?

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.

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