How do you write a "4"

There are two major ways handwrite a “4,” the “open top” and the “closed top.” There’s also the “partially closed top” or “open back” where it looks similar to the “closed top” version but it doesn’t quite connect.

How do you do it?

The correct answer is open top, and anyone who say otherwise is most obviously a fascist and/or kitten kicker.

Currently I write it with an open top. There was a time I did the closed top style, possibly when I was going through my arty phase and crossed my sevens * :o I also wrote “3” similar to this.

  • I realize plenty of people come by that style of writing the number 7 naturally; I however did not. Pure affectation on my part.

Open top. As any Spanish child my age plus minus one hundred knows, “a 4 is an upside-down chair”.

I guess if I wanted to to go with “the I first, and then the V” you’d say I should select the “different way” option? Seems awfully discriminatory toward those of us who still respect the old way of doing things…

Go back to Rome, toga-wearer!

I write “9” with a curved spine, like an upside-down “6”. And I pronounce it “niner”.

Oh you’re such a modernist! What happened to writing four Is as Minerva intended, uh?

I find the open top version ugly. Closed top for me always.

I use the open-top method, but I should switch to closed-top. Because then I could do it in one pen stroke, which would be more efficient. Maybe someday…

Open top. Don’t like the handwritten version of the closed-top 4.

(My printing eccentricities are writing a capital “E” like an epsilon (so like a backwards “3” with the curves), a lower-case “a” like the “a” in most non-italic fonts instead of the usual printed circle-and-line ɑ, and I guess I like to cross my 7s as well.)

Randomly one or the other.

Closed top, one continuous action instead of 2. But there is of course no one right answer. Lets not be silly.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone write a closed top four.

I did a lot of mechanical drafting and architectural drawings throughout school and they had a specific script they wanted you to stick to. It included the closed top 4 as well as the snowman 8, flat top 3, and non-looping 2. It just stuck with me over the years.

That is what drafting classes taught me. A skinny British GF taught me to cross my 7s and underscore my 1s, preparing me for US Army commo work. Computer training taught me to cross 0s but now I mainly poke a dot inside. I avoid Mayan glyphs.

Open top, with a single pen stroke, which makes it liable to become misshapen and look more like a 9.

I was all set to say close top and then I looked at the pad beside me. Its 4 - 3 in favour of open top on there. Who knew?

I’ll do it either way, depending. Used to do mainly the closed version, but working on the US Census they wanted very specific number shapes on the forms and insisted on the open top four and I’ve been doing that one more often since.

That’s pretty close to what I do, but I* like* the closed-top 4. I just don’t write it that way. My capital E is standard, but my lower case a is just as it appears here, and my sevens(and Zs) are crossed.

Unless someone writes a numeral or letter so that it causes head-scratching there is no right or wrong way.

But I reserve the right to roll my eyes at dotting "i"s with little hearts if the writer is more than ten years old.