Figures notation in different occasions

During Chinese-English translation and writing, we often encountered numbers; in which occasions should translate as English words, and where we should use Arabic numerals. It’s difficult to determine, and the current grammar book also rarely involves such problems.

In fact, the English-speaking countries has formed several conventional rules:

I. Publishing companies in Britain and America follow a principle while typesetting, 1-10 use English words, the one over 10 which use Arabic numerals (sometimes use 100 as limit)

That table measures ten feet by five.

The traditional pattern of classroom experience at the college level brings the professor and a group of 20 to 30 students together for a 45-to-50-minute class session two or three times a week.

II. When indicate number of people, Arabic numerals appears to be more concise, but indefinite quantity, approximation use English words to represent will be more appropriate.

There are 203817 voters on the electoral rolls.

Nearly thirty thousand voters took part in this election.

III. Date, percentage, special numbers with units, we usually use Arabic numerals

Maximum swivel of table is l20.

3rd March 1991 or 3 March 1991；

a discount of 5 percent（5%的折扣）；

eg. purchased 7 yards of carpet（买7码地毯）；

eg. ordered 2 pounds of minced steak（订购2磅肉馅）

eg. about five miles per hour（每小时大约5英里）

eg. at least ten yards away（至少有10码远）

eg. hesitated for a moment or two（犹豫了片刻）

eg. I have warned you a hundred times（我已经警告你多少遍了。）

IV. Figures frequently appear in scientific articles, which is more favorable to state using Arabic numerals

The new engine has a capacity of 4.3 litres and a power output of 153 kilowatts at 4400 revolutions per minute.

We know that the weight of a cubic foot of air at 0?C and 76cm，pressure is 0.08l pound, or 12 cubic feet of air weigh a pound.

V. Arabic numerals cannot be present at the beginning of a sentence, and also should avoid to be appear in the end.

19对选手参加了交际舞比赛。

Which should change as：Nineteen couples took part in the ballroom dancing competition.

Which should change as：Sixty per cent profit was a reported.

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