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Question About Numbers

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Did I write the following sentence correctly? What stumped me were all of the numbers, but if you spell out 8 it seems to detract from all of the time calculations going on.

 

 

 

When I go back to March 2003 to my very first month of math tutoring when I had 8 paying students having 45 minutes to 1 hour sessions, and I had many of them coming to my home. Most of my tutoring sessions did turn out to be 1 hour of my time. So if I had 8 paying students I was doing 8 hours a week then spending 1 to 1½ hours in my own graduate studies with then 1 or 2 hours of administration. It turns out to be about 10 to 12 hours in delivering my services, and the rest of the time I was promoting my tutoring business. I was doing networking. I was talking to people. I was out-and-about. I was calling. I was doing whatever. I don’t even know what I was doing. I was promoting tutoring.

 

Thanks again, guys. This is a real brain teaser for me.

 

Leisa

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Typically when you are writing, you'd spell out numbers lower than 10 unless you are using a mixture, like you are. So technically, you are correct.

 

Your first sentence is such a run on sentence that you may want to break it up for clarity.

 

When I go back to March 2003 to my very first month of math tutoring, I had 8 students paying for 45 minutes to 1 hour sessions - many of them coming to my home. I was doing 8 hours of tutoring a week, then spending 1 to 1½ hours in my own graduate studies, plus 1 or 2 hours of administration. It turns out to be about 10 to 12 hours in delivering my services. The rest of the time I was promoting my tutoring business. I was networking. I was talking to people. I was out-and-about. I was calling. I was doing whatever. I don’t even know what I was doing. I was promoting tutoring.

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This is a real brain teaser for me.

Wow! That is a bit of a brain-teaser, Leisa! :blink:

 

I've found The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation to be a great resource for the rules on writing numbers—and lots of other stuff too! Rule #2 on this page is especially applicable in this case.

 

According to The Blue Book, you would spell out the word eight when it refers to the number of students, but you would use numerals to represent the number of hours. However, since the writer is referring to the number of students as part of a calculation, I can see why it might be better to leave 8 students in numeral format. This may be one of those situations when readability is more important. I guess it just depends on how technical you want to be!

 

Hope this helps a bit! :)

 

Angela

 

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Angela and Crystal,

 

Thank you both. Angela, I am glad that you liked my brain teaser. Let me see if I can come of with a few more. :thumbup:

 

Crystal, thank you too. Yeah, I know that my first sentence is a run-on, and I apologize for that. I just want to get these "numbers issues" straightened out first. I am not a numbers person, so I cannot even think about editing text until I have my numbers edited. I should try to do both, but my brain doesn't work that way. In fact, it doesn't work very much at all. So, I really, really do apologize for that.

 

I'm on a very tight deadline, so I thank you ladies. You two (to, too????--just kidding) are the greatest.

 

Leisa

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This is another great example of "it depends". Sometimes you may have numbers right next to each other and writing one of them out, while against the formal rules, makes more sense and it more pleasing for all the senses. I think the way you have it is just fine - especially considering the focus is on a function (math) as opposed to presentation (grammar).

 

Laurie

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