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numbers in compound adjectives

Normally, for numbers used in compound adjectives, write out those from one to nine, and use numerals for the rest:

  • seven-hour day
  • two-metre-wide entrance
  • a 10-year-old boy

Number with an abbreviation or symbol

If the unit is represented by an abbreviation, use numerals.

  • a 5-lb. bag of flour
  • two 6-ft. lengths of timber

Do not use a hyphen between a numeral and a non-letter symbol or between a numeral and a metric unit symbol:

  • a 90° angle
  • four 100 °C thermometers
  • a 2.36 m high jump
  • three 5 L containers

For more information, see abbreviations: International System of Units (SI).

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