Should 8th grade be spelled out?

Answered by Robert Dupre

In my personal experience, I believe that it is best to spell out the grade “8th” rather than using the numeral form. When writing about grades, it is important to be clear and explicit, and using words instead of numerals helps to achieve this.

Using words for Grades 1-9 is a common convention that is widely accepted. It not only helps to avoid confusion but also adds a level of clarity and understanding for the reader. For example, when writing about a student who is in the eighth grade, it is much clearer to write “eighth grade” rather than “8th grade.”

However, it is worth noting that when the grade 10 or above starts a sentence, it is recommended to use words instead of numerals. This is because it is considered more grammatically correct and follows standard writing conventions. For instance, instead of writing “10th grade was a challenging year,” it is better to write “Tenth grade was a challenging year.”

By spelling out the grade in its ordinal form, we can maintain consistency and avoid any confusion or ambiguity. It also helps to create a more polished and professional piece of writing. Additionally, using words for Grades 1-9 adds a level of formality that is often expected in academic or formal writing situations.

While there may be some instances where using numerals for Grades 10, 11, and 12 is acceptable, it is generally best to spell out the grade in its ordinal form. By doing so, we can ensure clarity, consistency, and adherence to standard writing conventions.