How do you write this in an essay? 16-years-old.16 years-old?

Question:I don't remember...

16 years old.

You only want to hyphenate when you're using the phrase as a unit as an adjective. For instance, you'd say

I gave my 16-year-old dog a bath.


My four-year-old at home is such a trouble maker!

But if you're just saying that someone IS 16 years old, that's all you say: My dog Buddy is 16 years old.

Generally, with "year" you do the two hyphens but "years" has none.

As far as writing out the number with digits rather than letters, it depends on the style you've been taught. Throughout school (before college), I was taught to spell out numbers through nine and then write everything else in digits. In college, the rule was to spell out everything through ninety-nine and everything higher was supposed to be written with digits. Both systems are probably fine -- if you're pretty sure about the "16," stick with that. =)
She was sixteen years old.
16 years-old.
Or just write it out - sixteen years old
you have to write out numbers up to ninety-nine so i'd do sixteen years old =)

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