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

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12
votes
2answers
803 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
22k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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
9k 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
36 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 ...
-4
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
191 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
17k 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
277 views

How do you pronounce ¹⁄₁₂?

Could you let me know how to pronounce “1/12” properly ?
6
votes
5answers
2k 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
1k 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
127 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
668 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
28k 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
3k 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
186 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
61 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
10k 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
132 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
219 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
144 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
525 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
83 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
125 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
287 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
387 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
274 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?
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Is it correct to say “Do not duplicate the information, add only new one”?

Information is an uncountable noun. Therefore, is it correct to refer to it with a number one as in: do not duplicate the information, add only new one?
-1
votes
2answers
88 views

Say I wrote down 25 instead of 52 by accident. What is the right verb I can use here to specify what I did to these two digits? [closed]

I'm looking for a verb/some verbs here so I can say: I (verb) those two digits and that's why you read 25 here (instead of 52). I don't want to use "mix up" because I'd like to specify this "action" ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

Combining numbers and text

In the following sentence I am using a combination of numbers and words in a sentence: The greatest loss in accuracy for the method is between a rate of one and two hours where, on average, the ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

When talking about decades, is it correct to write “90's” with an apostrophe? [duplicate]

When referring to decades such as the nineties, is it correct to write 90's with an apostrophe?
3
votes
6answers
1k views

In mathematics, when referring to pure numbers is largest or biggest correct?

When referring to a list of number is largest or biggest correct? For example, I want to find the biggest number in an array. Or should it be the largest number. Finally, would either biggest or ...
1
vote
0answers
2k views

“Two and two makes four” vs. “two and two make four” [duplicate]

Two and two makes four. Two and two make four. Which is grammatical? Please provide your reasoning.
1
vote
4answers
830 views

Is there a term to denote writing numbers in words rather than as digits?

Often when writing we would like numbers to be written out fully e.g. thirty rather than in digits e.g. 30. Is there a name for this kind of representation?
7
votes
10answers
7k views

Does “nineteen-hundreds” refer to 1900–1909 or 1900–1999?

The words "nineteen-hundreds" to me mean strictly 1900–1909. I've noticed several times that people, invariably North American, use these words to mean "the twentieth century", or 1900–1999, or ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

When to spell out numbers [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals? Based on my previous question regarding spelling out monetary amounts, is there a rule of thumb when a number should be ...
1
vote
3answers
555 views

When I use numbers, when should I spell the word as opposed to just using the number? [duplicate]

I've just read this in a review: Thankfully, the energy efficient Qualcomm chip helped the handset reach a best-ever score of 17 hours and 30 minutes in our continuous video rundown test. ...
40
votes
8answers
47k views

Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not?

When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I was taught that to make a plural of an acronym, a letter, or a number, one should add an apostrophe and "s". Like I would have written this sentence, ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Can you place a cardinal number after a noun?

Is it possible to express a number of something by placing the cardinal after the noun? I know the concept of postpositives, like snow galore etc. but does this apply to cardinals? E.g. you can say ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

What is is called when you count the letters in an acronym, name or word with an ordinal multiplier?

In English, we frequently look at an acronym and name multiple repeated letters using an ordinal multiplier. For example: Automobile Association of America - AAA is read as Triple-A. Abdominal ...
-1
votes
6answers
191 views

How to pronounce number, say 1024, in programming world? [closed]

This is a 1024-byte length string. How to pronounce the sentence above? This is a one-thousand-and-twenty-four byte length string. or This is a one-oh-two-four byte length string.
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Why is “one” pronounced as “wan”, not “oh-ne”?

Why is one pronounced as "wan", not "oh-ne"? Why are the spelling and pronunciation of one so strange? In French, one is written as un, and pronounced as "oe" (with nasal sound). The sound is similar ...
0
votes
3answers
106 views

Formatting numbers in a book about mathematics

Would anyone be kind enough to point me to a reliable source (preferably on line) where I can find definitive answers to how to format numbers consistently within a book about maths aimed at popular ...
1
vote
3answers
168 views

Need help simplyfying sentences containing economic information

I am not very knowledgeable about economics and am trying to reword these two sentences: In 1964 the CDC 6600 cost around $7 million USD, though some sources site prices of up to $10 million. ...
0
votes
3answers
436 views

“More than one” is to “plural” as “less than one” is to what?

We call the quantity of more than one (singular) plural. Is there any general word similar to this for a quantity less than one (singular)?
1
vote
5answers
524 views

A phrase for “several” multiples of ten

Like how $x000 can be referred to as "several thousand dollars", and $x00 can be referred to as "several hundred dollars", and $x "several dollars", what about $x0? I've looked at this similar ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Number usage in a series [closed]

Is it right to say that the percentage decreases by 10% each time, like in this example: Around 30% of politicians throughout the world are women. A significant 30% is represented in Scandinavian ...
36
votes
3answers
16k views

What is the plural form of “zero”?

I tried looking on Google, but there are some fairly contradictory results. I thought I'd ask you guys so we could get an authoritative answer on the subject!