Are centuries spelled the end or written as numerals? are centuries hyphenated when used as adjectives? Writers and editors have been questioning these inquiries for at the very least a hundred years. (Sorry, i couldn’t aid myself!) So, this post is walk to check out present-day recommendations for exactly how to compose centuries as words and also numerals.

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Are century Spelled the end or created as Numerals?

The Chicago hands-on of style (Chicago style) and also the modern Language Association’s MLA Handbook (MLA style) recommend writing centuries as lowercased words:1

During the ninth century, Vikings developed permanent negotiations in Ireland.

The very first electric vehicle was developed in the early nineteenth century.

What will be the most important technological advance the the twenty-first century?

The connected Press Stylebook (AP style) offers two recommendations based upon number value: (1) single-digit centuries must be composed as lowercased words and also (2) double-digit centuries should be written as numerals:2

The Roman realm fell in the fifth century.

Rock and also roll music was designed in the 20th century.

The Publication hands-on of the American psychological Association (APA style) is quiet on this issue; however, we deserve to reasonably assume that the APA’s recommendation for general numbers, which states that number ten and over should it is in expressed together numerals unless they start a sentence, additionally applies to centuries.3

Pro Tip: If your company doesn’t follow a details style overview or in-house guide, i strongly encourage girlfriend to use The Chicago hands-on of Style for basic business and formal writing. Chicago is also the industry standard because that nonfiction and fiction publications (although details publishers might follow various other guides).

Regardless the the layout guide that you follow, ensure that your chosen format for creating centuries is continual throughout her document.

Are century Hyphenated When used as Adjectives?

Centuries follow traditional hyphenation rules because that adjectives uneven otherwise declared in your layout guide or in-house guide. Here are a couple of examples based on the recommendations stated above:4

Antique Roadshow generally features nineteenth- and twentieth-century furniture.

Antique Roadshow commonly features 19th- and 20th-century furniture.

This twenty-first-century modern technology will be useless in the twenty-second century.

This 21st-century an innovation will be useless in the 22nd century.

Enjoy much more timely creating advice in these connected posts:


‎1. MLA Handbook, 8th ed. (New York: modern Language association of America, 2016), 1.5; The Chicago hands-on of Style, 17th ed. (Chicago: college of Chicago Press, 2017), 9.32.

2. The linked Press Stylebook 2020–2022 (New York: linked Press, 2020), 48.

3. Publication manual of the American psychological Association, 7th ed. (Washington, DC: American mental Association, 2020), 6.32.

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4. The linked Press Stylebook 2020–2022 (New York: connected Press, 2020), 340–42; The Chicago manual of Style, 17th ed. (Chicago: university of Chicago Press, 2017), 7.89.

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