# Is it fifteen or 15?

When it comes to writing numbers, there is a general rule that can help guide us. Small numbers, typically ranging from one to ten (or sometimes one to nine, depending on the style guide), are often spelled out. On the other hand, larger numbers are usually written as numerals. This rule helps maintain consistency and readability in writing.

For example, if we were discussing the number 15, it would typically be written as “fifteen” when referring to it in a sentence. However, if we were discussing a larger number like 123, it would be more appropriate to write it as “123” rather than “one hundred twenty-three.”

The reason for this rule is to avoid cluttering the text with too many numerals, which can be visually overwhelming for readers. By spelling out small numbers, we allow the reader to quickly grasp the concept without being distracted by a series of digits. It creates a smoother flow of information.

Let’s consider a few examples to illustrate this rule in action:

1. Small number: She has four cats. (Instead of “4 cats”)
2. Large number: The marathon had over 1,000 participants. (Instead of “one thousand participants”)
3. Small number: I need to buy seven apples. (Instead of “7 apples”)
4. Large number: The population of the city is estimated to be around 2 million. (Instead of “two million”)

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. In certain cases, it may be more appropriate to use numerals for small numbers, such as when discussing precise measurements, ages, or percentages. Additionally, style guides may have specific rules on when to spell out numbers versus using numerals.

When writing, it is generally recommended to spell out small numbers (one to ten or one to nine) and use numerals for larger numbers. This rule helps maintain readability and consistency in written communication. Remember to consult specific style guides or guidelines for any exceptions or variations in different contexts.