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

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Base and Exponent [duplicate]

My question is about base and power. How do you read 2^3? Two to the third or two to the three? which one is correct? In general, a^b is read "a to the b" or "a to the b-th?
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72 views

How you ask the the number of times something is being done? [duplicate]

Assume someone is eating an apple and this the third apple he is eating. You want to ask him a question to know if that is the first, second, third, fourth, .. apple he is eating. What you ask? (His ...
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5answers
2k views

Is there a verb that fits in the pattern: quarter, third, halve (divide), [???], double, triple, quadruple. . .?

If these were nouns, I would assume "single" fits in between: 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . quarter, third, half, single or one, double, triple, quadruple . . . Note that each word has a ...
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5answers
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Does “five hundredth” mean 0.05 or 1/500?

What does "five hundredth of a second" mean? To me, "five hundredth" means 1/500 or 0.002. But I've seen people use it to mean 0.05 in sports (e.g. Athlete won the 100m sprint by five hundredth of a ...
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When using a numerical name to start a sentence, is the second word capitalized? [duplicate]

Example: The John could see all of the prisoners from where he sat on horseback. 321 picked up the hammer and continued breaking the stones. OR 321 Picked up the hammer and continued breaking the ...
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1answer
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Article before “two” with intervening adjective? [duplicate]

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 ...
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2answers
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Why do we use the article 'a' when referring to 100 items? But we don't use it when referring to any other plural count?

Edit Note: This question has been linked to these questions about using an article before adjectives modifying numbers. This question here has nothing to do with adjectives at all: Indefinite ...
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1answer
884 views

What is the term for replacing a letter with a number in a word? [duplicate]

What is the term for replacing a letter with a number in a word, such as UNREAL being written as UNR34L? Quite often seen on licence plates, it is almost satirical misspelling, but the definition of ...
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2answers
233 views

Number word or Arabic numeral? [duplicate]

Is there a rule for good usage as concerns applying a number word as "one", "two" and so on as opposed to Arabic numerals as "1342"? Is it, for instance, a rule that numbers less than 20 should be ...
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Should a comma be used in a scientific quantity such as wavelength?

In astronomy we often use a unit called Angstrom which is a unit of length. The symbol is \AA. Should I write 3000 A or 3,000 A? How strict is the rule for using commas?
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1answer
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“the 10-years evolution show…” or “the 10-year evolution shows…” [duplicate]

What is the correct sentence between these two forms: "the 10-years evolution show..." or "the 10-year evolution shows...". ? Both answers seem okay to me. Also, what about the dash ...
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1answer
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Pluralizing Numbered Items

In US legal practice, we often refer to numbered items: Interrogatory No. 1, Request for Admission No. 3, U.S. Patent No. 5,555,555. What part of the item should be pluralized? That is, should one ...
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6answers
32k 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 ...
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10answers
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How to ask a question to get an ordinal number answer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number? Framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number Given that I want to know Barack ...
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1answer
770 views

How do I ask a question about someone's order of birth? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number? How to ask a question to get a cardinal ...
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1answer
58 views

7 Up: Spelling out of numerals

Do I spell out "7+" as in "The odds ratio for a suicide attempt in adulthood ranged from 2.3 in those with one early life trauma to 29.8 in those with 7+ adverse childhood experiences" to "more than ...
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3answers
215 views

Cardinal or ordinal numbers when the word “number” is used

In the sentence "He was number three to finish the race", is the word "three" an ordinal or cardinal number? My gut reaction is that it's a cardinal number, but I'm having a hard time arguing for it.
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14answers
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Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?

The junction has a stop sign on each of the four entrances. The junction has a stop sign on each of the 4 entrances. The first is preferred, for some reason, by many English texts. Why? I haven't ...
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0answers
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Why are figures 1-9 written as numbers, but after 9 written in alphabet form? [duplicate]

I have tried to research this .. could anyone answer why figures 1-9 are written as digits/numbers and then from 9 onwards they are typed in alphabetical form?
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2answers
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Why is 1 hand-written without a serif and 7 without a dash? [closed]

I've noticed that people coming from English-speaking countries tend to write "1" without the upstroke and "7" without a dash: which differs from the way the numbers are usually written in ...
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1answer
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Proper use of number of

Is it right to say "The service is secured under numbers of protocols" or it is better to say "The service is secured under number of protocols"?
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1answer
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How should I write long numbers in comma separated lists or parenthetical phrases?

In writing out a sentence with a parenthetical number, it occurred to me that it is a bit difficult to read. Is there a better way? (Yes, this is a bit of a contrived example and yes, I realize it ...
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2answers
346 views

What do you call this fraction?

Is this how you write these fractions in words? 5/21 is five twenty-ones, 1/21 is one twenty-one. Can someone please clear this for me? I know 1/4 is one-quarter or one-fourth and 2/5 is two-fifths ...
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5answers
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Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value?

$1,000 is pronounced as "one thousand dollars". Reading from left to right, it seems like it would make more sense to write the value as: 1,000$. This way the pronunciation of the value follows the ...
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2answers
773 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
427 views

Reading zero as O (fifteenth letter in English) [duplicate]

I’ve observed that people read the digit zero as oh as though it were the letter O. For example, in a telephone number where 0800 is oh eight hundred. Why? Where was this decided, or can anyone ...
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3answers
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How to pronounce “twenty” correctly?

Well, I usually say "twenny" instead of "twenty" (not "twendy" even). I recently noticed that I never heard the same from any native english speakers during any talks I ever had with them. Recently I ...
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4answers
3k views

Is it correct to omit number suffix on dates?

If I have a date written: Saturday 16 December is it correct ? Or does the grammar oblige me to add the number suffix to 16 making 16th as in: Saturday 16th December ?
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4answers
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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 isn'...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
2k 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. ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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7answers
23k 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?
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3answers
497 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 ...
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3answers
160 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?
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4answers
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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 ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
32k views

What comes after quadruple? [duplicate]

I know: Single Double Triple Quadruple But what comes next? Up to 10 would be fine.
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1answer
202 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 ...
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3answers
243 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 ...
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1answer
367 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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5answers
1k 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?
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3answers
747 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 "...
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1answer
4k 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.
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4answers
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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 -- ...