In APA style, we generally use the word for numbers less than 10 and the numeral for numbers equal or greater than 10. However, I am editing a sentence that has predominantly single-digit numbers and one double-digit number. For the sake of consistency, should I switch to all numerals, all words, or keep the numbers mixed?

This school has one principal, four assistant principals, three behavioral intervention specialists, three school counselors, two school social workers, one ESE specialist, 32 full-time educators, and four security guards.

My knee-jerk reaction is to write out "thirty-two" for consistency's sake, but I can't find what the APA manual of style has to say about this particular situation. This is an edit job for an Ed.D. dissertation.

  • The style looks fine to me. Edit: When you say generally, surely there must be an exception. Are you quoting your style guide? If not, I would say that the sentance is okay as is. Sometimes proper grammar sounds weird. Like when asked "Is this FHH?" the proper Response is "This is he" Or how the proper formatted way to announce that the next show on the tv station is the one that features everyone's favorite yellow skinned cartoon family, you would say "The Simpsons is coming up next."
    – hszmv
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


My teachers always taught me: If most numbers are below ten, write them all as words. If most numbers are above ten, write them all as numbers.

So I would change the 32 to thirty-two.

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