Numbers Exercise (750)

Revise each sentence below to reflect correct usage and style. (One or more sentences may be correct.)

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: 130 people were killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Correct : One hundred thirty people were killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris.

When a number begins a sentence, spell it out regardless of whether it would normally be spelled out or written in numerals. Alternatively, recast the sentence so that the number does not begin the sentence: "In the terrorist attacks in Paris, 130 people were killed."

2.
Original: They counted twenty six pairs of shoes in the box.
Correct : They counted twenty-six pairs of shoes in the box.

Hyphenate all names of numbers between twenty-one and ninety-nine that consist of two words, whether they appear in isolation or as part of a larger number, as in "Five hundred fifty-two phone calls were made over the course of three days."

3.
Original: Disco music dominated the charts in the latter half of the 1970’s.
Correct : Disco music dominated the charts in the latter half of the 1970s.

Do not use an apostrophe in a reference to a decade, which should take plural, not possessive, form. (The exception is when the number is elided to two digits, as in "the ’70s," but note that the apostrophe precedes the number because it signals that digits have been omitted.)

4.
Original: Between 90 and 120 chairs are kept in each meeting room.
Correct : Between 90 and 120 chairs are kept in each meeting room.

The numbers in this sentence are styled correctly. General number style calls for numbers up to and including one hundred to be written out and larger numbers to be styled in numeral form (although newspapers and some other publications often spell out numbers only up to and including nine).

5.
Original: She really is one in 1,000,000, isn’t she?
Correct : She really is one in a million, isn’t she?

Informal references to large numbers should be spelled out.

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