The context is about work progress. Planned work is 100%. Someone implemented only 45% of the work.

45% of the work was implemented.

The sentence begins with the number. Please write whether we capitalize the first letter after the number? Is it normal in English if a sentence begins with a number?

3 Answers 3


No, you do not capitalize the first letter after the beginning of the sentence...


You should not start a sentence with a numeral.

You should either rewrite the sentence or write the number out fully:

Forty-five percent of the work was implemented.

  • 6
    note that there is no "rule" that you can't start a sentence with a numeral. you certainly can, and it wouldn't be "wrong". use your best judgment.
    – user428517
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:36
  • 2
    @sgroves Both MLA and APA recommend that you rewrite sentences beginning with numbers or write the number out, as does every source on the web I've found.
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:46
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    @catija that's true. what i said is also true. the mla and apa don't have any particular authority. they just make style suggestions for students.
    – user428517
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 18:50
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    @Jay - Just my two cents: I think sometimes it's better to ignore the rule (particularly for large numbers or years; e.g., if I wanted to say, "112 inches of snow fell last winter," or "1846 was a hard winter," I don't think I'd spell those out). On the other hand, if I was quoting Lincoln ("Four score and seven years ago...") I think that would look pretty sloppy to using numerals: 4 score and 7 years ago. Be we stalwarts or skeptics of style guides, I think we can all agree that some common sense can be applied.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 20:50
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    @j.r. Oh, sure. I think that's a case of "spell out small numbers, use digits for large numbers". That's a rule I respect and follow. Even if it's in the middle of a sentence, I routinely write, say, "I was born in AD 1958, so I am now two-score and sixteen years old."
    – Jay
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 21:54

I agree completely with Catija's answer: no, you don't capitalize 'of', but it's better not to start sentences with numerals. However, I wanted to elaborate on when to use this 'rule', and my comment was getting rather long.

Normally, you would just write out the number, as in the 'forty-five' example.

However, as has been pointed out in comments, sometimes you don't want to write out a long number or year, like 1846. If you have a sentence that starts with such a number, like:

1846 was a very good year.

Then you can reword the sentence so that the number is not the first word:

  1. It was a very good year in 1846.
  2. A good year, 1846.
  3. The year 1846 was very good.

Just like any other 'rule' in English, there are bound to be exceptions. Perhaps you feel that the rewritten sentences are too awkward, and that's certainly a decision that falls within an author's creative freedom.

That being said, this rule does serve a purpose. A capital letter signals the start of a new sentence just as a punctuation mark can signal the end of the previous one. Therefore, starting each sentence with a capital letter aids readability.


The sentences, which starts with numerals, are not necessary capitalized after them. The capitalization can occur following some rules for titles but then all the notional words are capitalized in that situations.

Source: http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/capitalization/rules-for-capitalization-in-titles.html

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