How to correctly express fractions, percentages, and time in text.

Today we briefly discuss the expression of fractions, percentages, and time in text.


Fractions appearing in nonquoted text either alone or with numbers less than 10 are spelled out; fractions appearing with numbers 10 or higher are expressed as numerals, e.g.:

  •  My cat is nine and one-half years old.
  • Stephen has an 11 1/2 shoe size.
  • One-eighth

When fractions are expressed as numerals, insert a space between the whole number and the fraction.  Don’t use a hyphen.  (“10 2/3,” not “10-2/3.”)


Spell out the word “percent” when used in text, but use numerals for the number itself (unless the number begins a sentence).  Use the percent sign (%) in tables, e.g.:

  •  There is a 60 percent chance it will rain.
  • Thirty percent of the work had been completed.


Always include minutes and “a.m.” or “p.m.,” e.g.:

  •  Trial started at 9:00 a.m. sharp.  (Not “9 a.m.”)
  • We have dinner reservations at 7:00 p.m. at Genoa.  (Not 7 o’clock in the evening.)

That is all for now …

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