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Numbers

This article gives information about how to say and write numbers in English. It also outlines some of the differences in the use of numbers between American and British English.

Numbers from One to a Million • Ways of Saying the Number 0 • Fractions and Decimals

Writing Periods and Commas in Numbers • Dates

• Money

Phone Numbers

Route and Road Numbers

Numbers from One to a Million

۱          one

۲۱ twenty-one

۸۴ eighty-four

۱۰۰      a/one hundred

۲۰۰      two hundred

۴۳۲                     American English four hundred thirty-two British English four hundred and thirty-two

۱,۰۰۰   a/one thousand

۱,۰۰۱   a/one thousand and one

۱,۱۰۰   one thousand one hundred/eleven hundred

۲,۰۰۰   two thousand

۲,۹۳۲                 American English two thousand nine hundred thirty-two British English two thousand nine hundred and thirty-two

۳,۱۰۰   three thousand one hundred

American English also thirty-one hundred

۱۰۰,۰۰۰           a/one hundred thousand

۱,۰۰۰,۰۰۰        a/one million

 

Saying a instead of one

You can say a hundred and fifty (150), but NOT two thousand a hune zed and R (2,150). Say two thousand one hundred and fifty. People often use a instead of one in conversation, but it is better to use one in technical contexts.

 

Ways of Saying the Number 0

 

In a series of numbers:

You can pronounce 0 like the letter o, when you are giving a series of numbers such as a credit card number or a flight number. (See also the sections on Phone Numbers and Road Numbers).

 

In dates:

Say oh in giving the name of a year, such as 1904 (“nineteen oh four”).

In mathematics, science, and technical contexts: American English: Say zero.

British English: Say nought or zero.

In temperatures:

American English: Say zero to refer to 0° Fahrenheit.

British English: Say zero to refer to freezing point (0° Celsius or -32° Fahrenheit).

In sports, for scores of O:

American English: Say zero or nothing. British English: Say nil.

In tennis: Say love.

Fractions and Decimals

Fractions

۱/۲                           a half

۲۱/۲                    two and a half

۱/a                           a quarter

۳/a                           three quarters

American English also three fourths

Decimals

۰٫۵                     American English zero point five British English nought point five

۲٫۵                          two point five

۰٫۲۵                   American English zero point two five British English nought point two five

۰٫۷۵                        American English zero point seven five British English nought point seven five

Writing Periods and Commas in Numbers

Use a period (.) to separate the main part of a number from the decimal part (the part that is less than 1). 2.031 means “two point zero three one”.

Say point to refer to the period. You can use a comma (,) in large numbers to separate the hundreds, thousands, and millions. 2,031 means “two thousand and thirty-one”. In British English, spaces are sometimes used instead of commas (2 031).

Remember: speakers of some other languaes ues(.) and(,) the other way around.

Dates

Days and months:

American English: Write June 3/June 3rd. Say ‘June third’.

British English: Write 3 June/3rd 7une/]une 3/June 3rd. Say ‘the third of June’ or ‘June the third’.

Writing dates as numbers

۳/۶ (or 03/06) means March 6 in American English, and 3 June in British English. British and American speakers put the month and day in different orders.

Saying the numbers of years

۱۰۶۶    ten sixty-six

۱۶۰۵    sixteen five

۱۷۷۶    seventeen seventy-six

۱۹۰۰    nineteen hundred

۱۹۹۹    nineteen ninety-nine

۲۰۰۰    (the year) two thousands

۲۰۰۱    two thousand and one

American English also two thousand one

Money

These are some common ways of saying amounts of money. American speakers talk about money in the following way:

۴۵۴                  forty-five cents

$۱                    a dollar

$۱٫۵۰               a dollar fifty

$۲                    two dollars

$۲٫۵۵               two dollars and fifty-five cents or two fifty-five

$۱۰۰                a/one hundred dollars

$۱۱۵٫۹۹                       a/one hundred fifteen dollars and ninety-nine cents or a/one hundred fifteen, ninety-nine

$۲۵۰                two hundred (and) fifty dollars or two fifty dollars

$۲,۶۸۲٫۷۴        two thousand six hundred eighty-two dollars and seventy­four cents

British speakers talk about money in the following way:

۴۵p                  forty-five p or forty-five pence

£۱                    one pound

£۱٫۵۰               one pound fifty or one fifty

£۲                    two pounds

£۲٫۵۵               two pounds fifty-five or two fifty-five

£۱۰۰                a/one hundred pounds

£۱۱۵٫۹۹                       a hundred and fifteen pounds, ninety-nine p/pence

£۲۵۰                two hundred and fifty pounds or two fifty pounds

£۲,۶۸۲٫۷۴        two thousand six hundred and eighty-two pounds, seventy­four p/pence

 

Phone Numbers

Say phone numbers as series of numbers, with pauses between the groups of numbers. For example, say 555-8473 as five five five eight four seven three or five five five, eighty-four seventy-three; and say (555) 876-0934 as five five five, eight seven six, oh nine three four.

American English: People often say “area code” before the first part of the number, which represents the area where they live; for example, area code five five five, six three two, nine eight two one (=(555) 632-9821).

British English: For phone numbers like 5155, people often say five one double five. For numbers like 1555, people often say one treble five or one five double five.

 

Route and Road Numbers

These are some common ways of saying the numbers of routes or roads.

 

American English

۱۰۱      one oh one

۲۸۰      two eighty

۱          highway one

۵          /ai/ five, interstate five

 

British English

M 1      /em/ one

M62     /em/ sixty-two

A5       /er/ five

A34     /ei/ thirty-four

B1562  /bi:/ one five six two

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