Questions relating to the use of numbers or numerals in speaking or writing English.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
1answer
12 views

Which vs. What in regards to Continuous Numbers (like Temperature)?

As this question makes clear, "which" is used when there is a set number of choices available, while "what" is used when there is not a set number of choices available. Which term do we use, however, ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

“Definite ninety-nine” - UK English meaning

I've been browsing through older lyrics of Judas Priest songs, namely Rocka Rolla, which has the following lines in a verse: Barroom fighter Ten pint a nighter Definite ninety-nine ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Should small numbers with a unit after them be spelt out or written in digits?

I heard it is better to write out numbers less than ten then to represent them using digits. Is this still true if there's a unit of measurement after the number? For example, in a research paper ...
18
votes
12answers
2k views

A word for converting numbers to (number / 1000) + K [duplicate]

Is there a word for the case where a number has been converted to something with a trailing ‘K’ (and possibly ‘M’ for millions, ‘B’ for billions, ...)? Example: 250,000 changes to 250K It will ...
3
votes
2answers
35 views

Approximate values of amount modifiers [duplicate]

This is an area of English that I consistently have trouble with. Consider the following sentences. I have a couple of books on my desk. I have a bunch of books on my desk. I have a number of books ...
4
votes
5answers
16k views

Why is “a 100% increase” the same amount as “a two-fold increase”?

and is such interpretation the norm? When something went from 4 units to 8 units, most authoritative sources seem to agree with the use of "a two-fold increase", even though what was actually ...
5
votes
5answers
763 views

Thrice or triple?

There is a fairly well known recipe for Triple Cooked Chips. It involves cooking chips three different ways / times. Is triple cooked correct or should it be called Thrice Cooked Chips as they have ...
5
votes
4answers
388 views

Specific numbers as pronouns

As "none" and "some" are pronouns, so can specific numbers function as pronouns: How many students failed? In "none failed," none is a pronoun. In "seven failed," seven is a pronoun. But in what ...
0
votes
2answers
52 views

When are Roman Numeral suffixes appropriate for number abbreviations?

This question was asked and closed last year as general reference. However, it did not attract the caliber of answer I expected it to. I suggested the below content as an edit, but it was rejected for ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What do you call each individual component of a number: a “digit”, a “figure”, or “place”?

What are the individual 0, 1, 2, "letters" etc. in numbers called? I know the word "digits", I've seen "n-figure salary", and Google translation (from German "Stellen"), when used in a sentence, ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

What do we call the “rd” in “3ʳᵈ” and the “th” in “9ᵗʰ”?

Our numbers have a specific two-letter onomatopoeia combination that tells us how the number sounds. For example 9th 3rd 301st What do we call these special sounds? --EDIT-- As mentioned in the ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

can I say 'a 300-thousand city'

I am looking for a noun meaning 'having 300 thousand inhabitants' so that I could say for example 'a 300-thousand city' instead of 'a city in which 300 thousand people live' or 'a city inhabited by ...
-1
votes
0answers
20 views

“A” or “an” before a word starting with a fraction [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? a ½-approximation algorithm an ½-approximation algorithm What is the rule? I have tried to find the rule for numbers, but I don’t know how to apply this to ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Oneteen, Twoteen, Threeteen, Fiveteen [duplicate]

I was wondering why we say eleven, twelve, thirteen and fifteen instead of oneteen, twoteen, threeteen and fiveteen? And where does "teen" come from? I would assume it derives from ten making me ...
15
votes
11answers
6k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
4
votes
2answers
321 views

Page range abbreviation “pp.164–71” — a typo or a common shorthand? [closed]

I have to translate the following sentence into French: Scrapers and abrasives are used to prepare the surface of a workpiece before a finish (pp.164–71) is applied. I believe there is a mistake ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Using “the” before ordinal numbers

When learning English I was told that ordinal numbers should always be used with "the" before them. But I often see that this is not always so strict, for example I heard the phrase "April first" ...
1
vote
3answers
65 views

Late/early for numbers other than age/year

When referring to age or to periods in time, it is quite common to use expressions such as He is in his late twenties or The best music was produced in the early eighties I have recently ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it proper grammar to refer to four digit number in hundreds?

Sometimes you will hear people refer to four digit numbers in terms of hundreds. For example, sometimes people will say fifteen hundred when talking about the number 1500. Is this proper? What are ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

When is it proper to abbreviate first to 1st?

When is it proper to use 1st instead of first? For example, is the correct sentence acceptable? Can you give more detail about why you 1st got involved? I tried finding some authoritative ...
12
votes
2answers
683 views

Indefinite article in the “An [adjective] [number] [plural noun]” construction

I wasn't sure how best to phrase the title of this question. I'm interested in constructions of the following form: An estimated 50 people died in the bombing. 'An estimated' could be ...
15
votes
2answers
17k views

“X times as many as” or “X times more than”

Suppose John has 5 sweets. Is there any difference between the following two sentences? Jack has 3 times as many sweets as John. Jack has 3 times more sweets than John. I prefer the first ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Usage of “second/third/fourth … last”

In German there is a pattern for counting items from the end of a list. The last item is "das letzte", the one before is "das vorletzte", the one before that is "das vorvorletzte" and for each other ...
12
votes
7answers
8k views

What does the term “86'd” relate to?

What does it mean when someone or something is referred to as being "86'd"?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Last (count) entries

I am currently documenting a web interface. What would you recommend as a more friendly way of saying: This will display the last n entries. Where n is the number they have entered. I've been ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a standard for speaking “1500” as “one thousand five hundred” versus “fifteen hundred”?

I was asked by a French colleague, and had no clear answer, whether it's more correct to say "One thousand five hundred" or "fifteen hundred" when speaking the number 1500. Putting aside how we say ...
-5
votes
2answers
1k views

Do we say and write 21 / 31 / 41 item or itemS?

I've been wondering, since these example numbers end with 1, isn't it natural to use the following noun in its singular form? From what I've been seeing around on the web this does not seem to be the ...
3
votes
4answers
104 views

What do you call a fraction that cannot be written as a finite decimal?

For example, the fraction ⅓ cannot be written, because it repeats infinitely (0.33333333... etc). Is there a particular word for numbers that cannot be written directly, but must be expressed as ...
12
votes
4answers
14k views

What is the origin of the counting prefixes: uni-, bi-/di-, tri-, quad-, etc.?

Many English words use the prefixes uni-, bi-/di-, tri-, quad- and so on to mean one, two, three, and four. For example: A unicycle has one wheel, a bicycle two, and a tricycle three. I presume ...
3
votes
2answers
251 views

How do you pronounce ¹⁄₁₂?

Could you let me know how to pronounce “1/12” properly ?
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Which syllable is stressed in the word “nineteen”?

The dictionaries list both possibilities to stress nineteen (or any other -teen, for that matter): ,nine-teen and nine-'teen. Are the two pronunciations completely interchangeable, a matter of ...
2
votes
3answers
170 views

Quite a lot / quite a few / quite a bit

Recently I’ve got stumbled upon the question: What’s the difference between quite a lot, quite a few, and quite a bit? This is very confusing considering a lot and a few have almost opposite ...
2
votes
3answers
66 views

How to pronounce long numbers?

2,060,700 in words. Which is correct. (A). Two million sixty thousand and seven hundred dollars OR (B). Two million sixty thousand seven hundred dollars ...
6
votes
5answers
651 views

Number “x” to “x” ascending or descending?

edit: sorry if this is a duplicate - I tried searching but didn't find anything! Was reading Do Fathers Matter? by Paul Raeburn and came across this sentence: They tell us that among the ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Use “to” or a dash between numbers indicating a range? [duplicate]

In a sentence, which is correct? Sentence 1: I sent 1 to 3 emails. OR: Sentence 2: I sent 1-3 emails. Which is grammatically correct? To use "-" or "to" between numbers.
0
votes
4answers
22k views

How to say the total amount?

I'm not sure if the saying of the total amount USD 23,428.32 is correct below (esp. the 'cent' part after the dot): Say U.S. dollars twenty-three thousand four hundred and twenty-eight and ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

How do they express the time, in American and British English?

I don't know if this is a good question. But as far as I know, and as I do it, American English also say "after" other than "past" in expressing times. For example, a quarter after six instead of, a ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Should one suspend a hyphen when using “two- to three-digit” phrase used as an adjective? [closed]

Example Sally alerted her accountant to four to five digit revenue discrepancies in the budget. Should it be: ...to four to five digit revenue discrepancies or with a suspended hyphen: ...
0
votes
3answers
55 views

How to refer to a previous number by “that much”?

Sentence: Using cross-validation, it was shown that modeling at a penalty value of 1.25 did achieve the highest performance. This indicates that a penalty value that much could mitigate the ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

When writing large numbers, should a comma be inserted?

I know that it is common to write the number 'ten thousand' as a numeral with a comma delimiting the 10 and the 000 like so: 10, 000 However, I have never seen a comma used for numbers less than ...
4
votes
3answers
84 views

Is It Ok To Write “100%” In A Formal Text?

I'm writing a text that is neither mathematical, nor statistical, but rather I want to emphasize a point. For example, I'd say "It's 100% involuntary..." Is it acceptable to employ "100%" in normal ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Why are decimals read as fractions by some cultures?

I find it very strange that the top results on Google for "how to read decimal" give me a very strange way to read them - as fractions. I have learnt to read the digits individually and it makes a ...
1
vote
3answers
73 views

Words or digits? What is good style for numbers in mathematical writing?

What is considered good style for writing small numbers as words or digits in mathematical texts? I have three concrete examples, are there any differences between those? "M is a matroid of rank ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Ordinal numbers as adverbs [duplicate]

I was once told not to end "firstly [point 1], secondly [point2], thirdly [point 3]" in -ly and to leave them as first, second, third etc. Is this always true or only in certain situations? Is it ever ...
1
vote
2answers
463 views

“sufferings” is plural though it is uncountable,but how?

We know that there is no plural form of the "uncountable noun," but, for example, we write: His sufferings force us to retain pity for him. Is it possible to make an uncountable noun plural? If ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

May numero sign (No.) be used to indicate amount?

I found that numero sign (No.) may be used as abbreviation of word "number" in meaning "ordinal number". May it be used as abbreviation of word "number" in meaning "amount"?
1
vote
0answers
82 views

How do you count on fingers in English speaking countries? [closed]

Is there any "standard" way of counting on fingers in English speaking countries? In my country (Czech Rep.) we count and lift up fingers like this: 1-thumb, 2-index, 3-middle finger, 4-ring finger, ...
3
votes
3answers
157 views

Word for the number being added-to OR subtracted-from another number

In division, we have a dividend and a divisor. According to this page, we also have minuend and subtrahend augend and addend multiplicand and multiplier which are rarely used because order ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

What size of number should be written in digits as opposed to spelt out? [duplicate]

I was taught that small numbers should be written with letters and not numerals. For example "5" would be "five". I've heard conflicting rules and am wondering what the largest number that should be ...
3
votes
4answers
184 views

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates?

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates? By 'ordinal suffix' I mean '-th', '-nd', '-rd', e.g. 'April 17' instead of 'April 17th'. If they do, is there an explanation for this behavior?