Numbers, Years, Length, Dates in English!
0 is called nought in British English and zero in American English.
When saying numbers one figure at a time, 0 is often called ‘oh’ as in the letter ‘O’
- My phone number is oh two oh one two three oh nine six.
In measurements, 0 is called zero.
- It’s zero degrees outside.
In sports, 0 is often called nil.
- Arsenal won the match 3- 0 (three nil).
A, AN, ONE
Use ‘a’ before consonants (a book) and ‘an’ before vowel sonds (an eagle).
Using ‘one’ is more formal than ‘a’ and ‘an’.
- I paid a thousand pounds for this car. (informal)
- I paid one thousand pounds for this car. (formal)
‘a’ and ‘an’ can only be used at the beginning of a number.
- two thousand a hundred – incorrect
- two thousand one hundred – correct
COMPOUND NUMBERS (21, 32, 43, 55 – 99)
Use hyphens (-) when writing compound numbers.
In British English, use ‘and’ before tens.
- 513 five hundred and thirteen
- 749 seven hundred and forty-nine
- 2, 892 two thousand, eight hundred and ninety-two
Commas are used to divide large numbers into groups of three figures so that they are easier to read.
- 1, 342, 795
- 23, 015, 340
Spaces may be used the same way.
- 1 342 795
- 23 015 340
In informal English, ‘hundred’ is used with round numbers between 1,100 and 1,900.
- I paid twelve hundred pounds for this car. (1,200 informal)
- I paid one thousand, two hundred pounds for this car. (1,200 formal)
- He earns fifteen hundred pounds a month. (1,500 informal)
- He earns one thousand, five hundred pounds per month. (1,500 formal)
‘Hundreds’ is also used when referring to the first decade of a century or the whole century.
- In the nineteen-hundreds. (1900-1909 or 1900-1999)
- In the 1900s.
- In the eighteen-hundreds (1800-1809 or 1800-1899)
- In the 1800s.
DECADES ’20s, ’30s, ’40s
When referring to decades the following forms may be used.
- My father was born in the fifties.
- My father was born in the 1950s.
- My father was born in the ’50s.
- My sister is in her late twenties.
- My sister is in her late 20s.
Ordinal numbers are used with dates, floors, positions in competitions, centuries, kings and queens etc.
- I was born on the first of May. I was born on May the first. (spoken)
- I was born on 1 May. (written)
- I live on the fourth floor.
- She came third in the competition.
- Shakespeare died in the seventeenth century.
- Shakespeare died in the 17th century.
- Henry VIII had six wives.
- Henry the Eighth had six wives.
Use hyphens (-) and singular form (no ’s ending) in noun-noun combinations with measurements .
- a two-mile walk
- a three-day course
- a ten-minute speech
- a twenty-litre can
- five twenty-litre cans
- a four-person tent
- two four-person tents
- a sixty-kilogram dog
- three sixty-kilogram dogs
- a six-foot tall man
- 1/6 (written)
- one sixth (spoken)
- 2/6 (written)
- two sixths (spoken)
- ¾ hour (written)
- three quarters of an hour
- 254/782 (written)
- two hundred and fifty-four over seven hundred and eighty-two (spoken)
- 310/3456 (written)
- three hundred and ten over three thousand, four hundred and fifty-six
- 0.134 (written)
- nought point one three four (spoken)
- 6.8 (written)
- six point seven (spoken)
Recommended for you:
Dates – MyEnglishTeacher.eu
186 Financial and Banking Terms for Business English