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

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0
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4answers
632 views

How to say fractions like “7/8” or “546/823”

I have come across the following three spoken variants for the fraction ⅞: Seven by eight Seven over eight Seven into eight I am also aware of seven-eighths but I don't want to use that as it ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it proper to use ordinal suffixes on fractions?

I know in more formal writing, spelling out fractions is preferred (e.g. two-thirds), and in math no suffix is used, but I frequently see ordinal suffixes being used on fractions (e.g. 2/3rds), even ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

“Ten times fewer the number,” versus “one-tenth the number”?

Lately I've been hearing and reading statistics that are communicated in wording that, frankly, confuses me. Forgive me for not citing specific instances, but I can give a hypothetical statistic that ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

“Three quarters” vs. “three fourths”

To express a fraction of 3 out of 4, how and when would you use three quarters, and when would you use three fourths? To me, three quarters is what I would have used all the time — but I'm not a ...
1
vote
1answer
426 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Hyphenating spelled-out fractions with large numerators and/or denominators

I find myself in the awkward position of needing to systematically spell out fractions where the numerator, the denominator, or both have three or more digits, and I'm not sure about the hyphenation. ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Fractions as phrasal (compound) adjectives

Is there a difference between a written-out fraction that serves as a noun: He gave me one half of his sandwich. and a written-out fraction serving as an adjective: I gave her a one-half ...
3
votes
4answers
698 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 ...
23
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7answers
16k views

Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?

I have seen people say both 0.25 mile and 0.25 miles. Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Why the extra “bar” on 7 [on hold]

I remember reading one article that related the written numbers to roman numbering system by counting the number of angles or intersections made to equal the number, or something like that. Has ...
6
votes
3answers
334 views

Should thin spaces be used between numerals and units

After starting to use the siunitx package for typesetting units (and the numerals before the units) in LaTeX, I noticed that it typesets a single space between a numeral and a unit (a space that is ...
2
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3answers
90 views

The first two of ten thousand have been delivered

Does this mean that the first literal two have been delivered? Or does it mean the first two thousand have been delivered?
7
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5answers
19k views

How to use “tens of” and “hundreds of”?

If I'm not mistaken, tens of means 10 to 99 and hundreds of means 100 to 999. Is this correct? I found in some dictionaries that tens of is actually not correct. I also found that hundreds of could ...
54
votes
4answers
19k views

Why do eleven and twelve get unique words and not end in “-teen”?

In short, why is it not oneteen and twoteen, and we start at thirteen in English? In another thread, I supposed that despite that fact that people have ten fingers, amounts of items leading up to and ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Smaller vs. less vs. lesser

I am confused as to some of the vocabulary that can be used to compare numbers and quantities, and would very much appreciate some clarification. I suppose it is safe to say that 1 is smaller than ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

“One in a million” or “A million to one”?

Last week I took part in an English course, and the teacher was constantly saying a million to one (when he meant "an extremely small possibility"). Is this correct? Is it the same as one in a ...
2
votes
4answers
6k 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
52 views

Using a hyphen when describing measures (e.g., a 300-meter asteroid) [duplicate]

Here's some examples. Please tell me which ones are right, and which ones are wrong, and why. "A 350-meter asteroid impacted the Moon." "A 350-meters asteroid impacted the Moon." "A 350 meter ...
0
votes
1answer
732 views

What comes after quadruple? [duplicate]

I know: Single Double Triple Quadruple But what comes next? Up to 10 would be fine.
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Is it technically correct to describe normal figures and text figures as upper case and lower case numbers?

There is a recent question on the Graphic Design SE asking: Why don't upper case numbers exist? There is also a heavily upvoted answer saying that upper and lower case numbers do exist, and that what ...
23
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
116 views

“I make a hundred k a year”

How much money does someone earn when he says I make a hundred k a year. I understand it as make = earn hundred = 100 k = kilo So my final sentence is I earn 100000 CUR a year. where CUR is ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

Is there a fraction prefix for “(one-)third”?

I am a mathematician, working with things called 1⁄k-regular polytopes, dubbed thus by Conway. For the case of k = 2, as in ½-regular, it is naturally pronounced and written half-regular. However, I ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Article before “two” with intervening adjective?

Consider the following sentence: (1) The project will include Alice, Bob, and an expected two new hires. This sounds correct to me; it means we are expecting to hire two new people and will put ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Thesis: spell out numbers or not?

I'm unsure if I should spell out numbers or not, in this specific case of the thesis: This is the area I'm concerned with and I tried both approaches: Setup 1 is a static setup with seven nodes in ...
6
votes
5answers
616 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?
4
votes
3answers
185 views

Prepositions before and after percentages

I'm commenting on several data of a graphic and I have a doubt question about the preposition that comes (or doesn't) before the percentage, and whether the determiner "the" has to appear before ...
4
votes
1answer
912 views

Should I capitalise the first letter when a sentence starts with a number?

When starting a sentence with a number, should the first letter be capitalised? For example, 96% Real meat. or 96% real meat.
15
votes
4answers
15k views

What follows next in the sequence “unary, binary, ternary…”?

I looked on Oxford's online dictionary and was able to find the names identifying orders of a given degree: primary secondary tertiary quaternary quinary senary septenary octonary nonary denary -- ...
4
votes
3answers
678 views

Is there a word for opposite numbers?

Example: -100 and +100 - is there a way of describing the relationship between these numbers? Obviously, I've already come up with "opposite", is there anything else? This is for use in an email. ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
4
votes
1answer
47 views

Age description and hyphenating

How would I say a toddler is 2 years and 7 months old correctly? Is this right: It is a two-year-seven-month-old toddler. Or do I need an “and” between? I personally think hyphenating here ...
-1
votes
3answers
66 views

Is there a word for ordinal numbers which enumerate non-overlapping periods of time?

I'm creating a database which holds information on measurements which I make with a device that holds a sample. Inserting the sample into the device creates unique boundary conditions which can never ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a word for numbers and letters, but not punctuation, etc?

Is there a word that would refer to a number or a letter, but not any other character (like a comma or an exclamation mark)?
-1
votes
1answer
108 views

Possible ways to pronounce an IPv6 address

When reading out IPv4 addresses, people typically say something like, "ten dot one dot seven" etc. This is pretty easy since "dot" is one syllable. How can IPv6 addresses be pronounced? Saying "colon" ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Is there a word for a number with commas?

For example: 1000000 is a "number" and 1,000,000 is a "number" Is there a way to tell someone to use "______ numbers" without saying to use "numbers with a comma after every thousand, million, etc.?" ...
0
votes
2answers
499 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 following content as an edit, but it was rejected ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

“Give me one half of that” Vs. “give me half of that”

I can't remember when and where I had this discussion, but I remember being corrected when I was speaking by a stranger saying that it is never correct to say give me half of this; instead, the ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

omitted or not for “the number of ”

I don't know if the word "number" before "bananas" of the following sentence could be omitted? "The number of apples is 8 and bananas is 3" or "The number of apples is 8 and the number of bananas is ...
0
votes
2answers
158 views

Is there a rule for when to write numbers in full?

I was recently taught that numbers should be written in full if: The number is between zero and ten. The number has three or less digits. The number is present at the start of a paragraph. ...
1
vote
3answers
123 views

Is it ok nowadays to say numbers instead of digits, while expressing a sum?

( example: 2345 - these four numbers make the sum..) or must I say digits?
1
vote
1answer
224 views

Do we have to use ordinals with largest/smallest?

In every-day language, I would say, "Give me the fifth largest pumpkin you have"; that is I would use the ordinal. However, this feels clunky in mathematical texts, especially when reading out loud: ...
2
votes
2answers
312 views

Arabic numerals vs their corresponding English words in scientific research paper [duplicate]

This question is different from Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?, as it is about the usage in a physics research paper. Basically, I am not sure when to use Arabic numerals and when to ...
2
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Names of Numbers [duplicate]

A thought hit me today that I can't get out of my head. Why are the numbers 10 - 19 so special, that they get their own naming scheme unlike the rest of the numbers. for example. if we go up in ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

Correct usage of numero sign (№): cardinal numbers okay?

Can the numero sign (№) only be used to indicate ordinal numbers only, or would it be correct to use it for cardinal numbers as well? A very specific example: if I write about "the number of males ...
31
votes
4answers
5k views

I've said it once, I've said it twice, I've said it a thousand times: English doesn't make sense

I had a student moaning at me because I insisted he say twice and not "two times". And he asked "But why?" to which I replied, "Because that's how you say it!" However on reflection, his question was ...
1
vote
3answers
269 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
32 views

How do we say hexadecimal numbers? [duplicate]

When speaking series of decimal numbers, we say "one... nine, ten"; when speaking hexadecimals do we say "one... e, f, ten"? Do we say "nineteen, ateen, bteen... fteen, twenty" and so forth, or do we ...
18
votes
13answers
14k 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 ...