How to Say Numbers in English

Numbers

Being able to say numbers correctly is an important part of having effective conversations with customers and suppliers. Please review the rules and we will do the test (at the bottom of the page) together.

The Rules

Numbers from one to a million

1 one
21 twenty-one
84 eighty-four
100 a/one hundred
200 two hundred
432 four hundred and thirty-two
1,000 a/one thousand
1,001 a/one thousand and one
1,100 one thousand one hundred/eleven hundred
2,000 two thousand
2,932 two thousand nine hundred and thirty-two
3,100 three thousand one hundred
100,000 a/one hundred thousand
1,000,000 a/one million

Saying a instead of one

You can say a hundred and fifty (150), but NOT two thousand a hundred and fifty (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:
British English: Say nought or zero.
American English: Say zero.

Fractions and decimals

Fractions

½ a half
two and a half
¼ a quarter
¾ three quarters
American English also three fourths

Decimals

0.5 British English nought point five
American English zero point five
2.5 two point five
0.25 British English nought point two five
American English zero point two five
0.75 British English nought point seven five
American English zero point seven five

Dates

Days and months:
Write 3 June/3rd June/June 3/June 3rd. Say ‘the third of June’ or ‘June the third’.

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

Saying the numbers of years

1066 ten sixty-six
1605 sixteen oh five
1776 seventeen seventy-six
1900 nineteen hundred
1999 nineteen ninety-nine
2000 (the year) two thousand
2001 two thousand and one

 

Money

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

45p forty-five p or forty-five pence
£1 one pound
£1.50 one pound fifty or one fifty
£2 two pounds
£2.55 two pounds fifty-five or two fifty-five
£100 a/one hundred pounds
£115.99 a hundred and fifteen pounds, ninety-nine p/pence
£250 two hundred and fifty pounds or two fifty pounds
£2,682.74 two thousand six hundred and eighty-two pounds, seventy-four p/pence

American speakers talk about money in the following way:

45¢ forty-five cents
$1 a dollar
$1.50 a dollar fifty
$2 two dollars
$2.55 two dollars and fifty-five cents or two fifty-five
$100 a/one hundred dollars
$115.99 a/one hundred fifteen dollars and ninety-nine cents or a/one hundred fifteen, ninety-nine
$250 two hundred (and) fifty dollars or two fifty dollars
$2,682.74 two thousand six hundred eighty-two dollars and seventy-four cents

Phone numbers

Say phone numbers as series of numbers, with pauses between the groups of numbers. For example, say 08081 570983 as oh eight oh eight one, five seven oh nine eight three.

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.

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).

Test: Can You Say these Numbers?

  1. When were you born?
  2. What year were your parents born?
  3. What year were your children born?
  4. What’s the date today?
  5. What time is it right now?
  6. How much money do you wish you had in your bank account?
  7. What’s your office phone number?

Some Numbers About the Eiffel Tower

Number of Steel Workers who worked on the Eiffel Tower: 300
Number of Workers Killed during Construction of the Eiffel Tower: 1
Number of Rivets used in the Eiffel Tower: 2,500,000
Number of Steel pieces used in the Eiffel Tower: 18,038
Height: 300.51 meters (986 feet) (+/- 15 cm depending on temperature)
1st level – 57 meters
2nd level – 115 meters
3rd level – 276 meters
Height including television antenna: 320.755 meters (1052 feet)

Weight: 7,000 tons (1,000 tons removed during 1990’s renovation)

Some Numbers about Commercial Airplanes

On an average day, air traffic controllers handle 28,537 commercial flights, 27,178 general aviation flights (private planes), 24,548 air taxi flights (planes for hire), 5,260 military flights and 2,148 air cargo flights.

The A380 has about 4,000,000 parts, with 2,500,000 part numbers produced by 1,500 companies from 30 countries around the world.

Numbers

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