Freelance Writing Jobs
Post a job

How to Write Height: Writing Feet and Inches Correctly

Shaun Connell
June 20, 2023

Are you wondering how to write height in feet and inches correctly? If so, you are in luck!

Here is the short answer: 

  • To write out feet, you can write the number of feet followed by the term feet or the quantity followed by a prime or single quotation mark. 
  • You write out inches by giving the quantity followed by the term inches, or you can write the number of inches followed by a double prime or double quotation mark.
  • When you write out a height, you always list the feet before inches. 
  • The correct format to use for writing height depends on the style guide you are using. 

The explanation above is a brief overview, but you need to learn more to write height correctly. Do not worry, though. In this guide, I give you tips, rules, and other helpful information. So, by the time you finish this post, you will be an expert at writing feet and inches correctly.

How Do You Write Height in Feet and Inches Correctly?

There are several ways to write height correctly. Choosing the correct format requires you to reference the style guide you are using. If you are not given a style guide, you can likely choose any proper format. So, take a look at these acceptable formats.

Chicago Manual of Style Guide

If you are following the Chicago Manual style, you must write out the quantity, feet, and inches.

For example, you could say:

The child was only seven years old, but he was huge. He towered over the other kids at five feet six inches. 


The minimum height requirement for the ride is five feet two inches.

Associated Press (AP) Style Guide

Typically, when writing numbers following AP style, you write out numbers one through nine and use numerals for the following numbers. However, the AP style requires you to write out feet and inches, but you use digits for the quantities.

For example, when using AP style, you would write height like this:

The house was tiny. It only stood 5 feet 10 inches tall.


You were 3 feet 6 inches tall when you were three years old.

ASME, MLA, APA Style Guide

If you use a different style guide, it may refer you to one of the guides above for writing height. For example, suppose you are writing a white paper, instruction manual, software documentation, or a technical document explaining mechanical functions. In that case, you may need to use the ASME style guide, which follows the Chicago Manual of Style format.

So, heights following the ASME style guide are written like this:

The fourteen-year-old basketball player was six feet, two inches tall.

Notice you write out the numbers instead of using numerals or primes to abbreviate feet and inches.

  • The MLA Style Guide instructs followers to use figures and abbreviations for feet and inches if they use similar figures or calculations throughout the text.
  • So, using numerals and ft. or in. is okay to indicate feet and inches.

Abbreviations of Height in Feet and Inches

There are a few other ways to write heights in feet and inches. You can use abbreviations if you write a product description or use figures in feet and inches repeatedly in the same article. They do not follow formal style guides. However, they are acceptable in many situations.

Abbreviation of Feet and Inches

If you are writing something less formal, like a product review, you can pair numerals with abbreviations of feet and inches. You use the lowercase ft or in followed by a period, like this ft. and in.

So, you write height abbreviations this:

Mrs. Jones has a collection of garden gnomes that range in size from 2 ft. to 3 ft. 6 in.


The bridge is 15 ft. 6 in. tall. Boats over 15 ft. tall should not try to go under the bridge because, depending on the tide, they may not make it through.

Using Primes for Feet and Inches

In addition to the shortened forms of feet and inches, you can also use primes to replace them. A prime is a single quotation mark. A double prime is a double quotation mark.

You use the single prime for feet and the double prime for inches, and you do not use a space between the feet and inches.

For example, you could write a height like this:

The clearance of the parking garage is 10′3″, which was not tall enough to accommodate the tractor-trailer.


The baby giraffe is taller than most adults. He was 6'2" when he was born.

TOP TIP! If you are a freelance writer, you should check with your client's style guide before using primes to abbreviate heights.

Writing Height Proceeding a Noun

When you write numbers before a noun, they must be hyphenated because they describe the noun.

Here is an example:

The six-foot-eight basketball player towered over the cheerleaders.


The four-foot-tall child is shorter than everyone else in her class.

Examples of How to Write Height

Before you go, take a look at these sample sentences using different ways to write measurements of height in feet and inches.

Chicago Manual of Style Guide

  • The shortest player on the basketball team is six foot 0ne, and the tallest player is six foot, eleven inches.
  • The city requires homeowners to raise homes six feet six inches due to flood risk in the area.
  • Do you want to install doorways that are six feet six inches tall, or do you prefer the large ones which are seven feet six inches?
  • The case study showed that people prefer ten-foot ceilings in their houses.

AP Style Guide

  • At 4 feet 3 inches, she was the shortest girl in the class.
  • Boats must carefully pass under the bridge during high tide because the clearance is only 15 feet 3 inches.
  • I want the height of the kitchen cabinets to be 4 feet 3 inches.
  • Suppose you are writing a blog post; follow the AP Style Guide for writing height. For example, you would write your size like this, 5 feet 2 inches. 

Feet and Inches Abbreviations

  • Giraffes are the tallest animal, with an average height of 16 to 18 ft. 
  • Clearance in the parking garage is 10 ft. 6 in.
  • The doctor said I was 5 ft. 5 in. at my last appointment.

Prime and Double Prime

  • She hopes that she gets a little taller. She has to be at least 5'8" to become a runway model.
  • At 6'9", the basketball player is the tallest student in the school.
  • You cannot ride the rollercoaster if you are not at least 4'6".

The Last Word on How to Write Height

There are several ways to write height, so here is a quick recap of what we learned: 

  • There are several ways to write height in feet and inches correctly.
  • According to the Chicago Manual of Style Guide, you write out the numbers, feet, and inches, for example, three feet five inches.
  • The correct way to write height according to the AP style guide, you use numerals for the numbers and feet and inches, for example, 3 feet 6 inches.
  • If you are writing informal communications, you can use numerals, abbreviations of feet and inches, or a prime for feet and a double prime for inches, for example, 5 ft. 4 in. or 5'4".

Even after learning how to correctly write height in feet and inches, it can be challenging to remember when it is appropriate to use abbreviations, written numbers, numerals, and primes. So, bookmark this page to use it as a reference in the future in case you need to review this lesson again in the future.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Writing Jobs Newsletter
Subscribe to receive information, free guides and tutorials