I have sent an email to my client yesterday which starts with this

10 of 15 items we discussed yesterday are resolved and the 5 are in progress.

For some reason I feel an email should not start with number (I think I have been told to avoid very long ago). I wrote emails which starts with number without using 'of' something like 'Ten items have been resolved yesterday'.

So I changed it to this.

Out of 15; which we discussed yesterday, 10 are resolved and the 5 are in progress

But again, I was not confident of punctuation, so I sent the first one. Can some one please help me correct this if its wrong?


3 Answers 3

  1. When discussing with customers and / or suppliers, it is highly recommended to use formal communication.

  2. Regardless of the type of communication (formal or informal), sentences which start with numbers look awkward. There is always a way to form a sentence with numbers, and avoid having a number as the first element.


  • the numbers are written as text (two instead of 2);

    Three Men in a Boat

  • you actually present a formula, and there is no real sentence

You can use any article / book as a reference. I do not remember any of them starting sentences with numbers represented as digits.


If you write the words for the numbers there is no issue but starting a sentence with digits is not recommended.

Ten of [the] fifteen items we discussed yesterday are resolved and the [other] five are in progress.

Any formal communication (business to business communication for example) should always use the words for the numbers unless the numbers are very large.


In informal writing like an email, starting a sentence with numbers is acceptable. In formal writing, it is considered bad form.

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