# Numbers, Years, Length, Dates in English!

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NUMBERS

CARDINAL NUMBERS

NOUGHT

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.

• twenty-one
• thirty-two
• fifty-five
• ninety-nine

AND

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 (,)

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

HUNDRED

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.

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.

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ORDINAL NUMBERS

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.

MEASUREMENTS

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

FRACTIONS

SIMPLE FRACTIONS

• 1/6 (written)
• one sixth (spoken)
• 2/6 (written)
• two sixths (spoken)
• ¾ hour (written)
• three quarters of an hour

COMPLEX FRACTIONS

• 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

DECIMALS

• 0.134 (written)
• nought point one three four (spoken)
• 6.8 (written)
• six point seven (spoken)

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