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

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8
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
2
votes
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 ?
0
votes
4answers
3k 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
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
658 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
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. ...
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
1k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
20k 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?
6
votes
3answers
434 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
137 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?
60
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
73 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
16k views

What comes after quadruple? [duplicate]

I know: Single Double Triple Quadruple But what comes next? Up to 10 would be fine.
5
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
169 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
300 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
97 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
895 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?
5
votes
3answers
430 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
3k 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.
17
votes
4answers
18k 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 -- ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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
11k 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" ...
5
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
78 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
4k 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)?
0
votes
1answer
155 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" ...
3
votes
2answers
254 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.?" ...
6
votes
6answers
2k 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
55 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
401 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
166 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?
2
votes
1answer
256 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
413 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
9k 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
172 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
809 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
346 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
33 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 ...
20
votes
13answers
19k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
12k views

Is two-thirds plural?

Is 2/3 always, sometimes or never plural? E.g. 1a) 2/3 of the pizza were eaten. 1b) 2/3 of the pizza was eaten. 2a) 2/3 of the visitors were men. 2b) 2/3 of the visitors was men. I ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Suite Number Capitalization [duplicate]

I know that in writing an address, suite is capitalized.... 205 NW 54th Street, Suite 220 When just writing a description about suite 220, do I capitalize suite?
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Should even a large number be spelled out when used as a pronoun?

I have learned somewhere (or maybe decided ) that any number used as a pronoun -- that is, X standing alone to represent the already stated group of X nouns -- should be spelled out, no matter how big ...
0
votes
1answer
158 views

When to write number and word combinations? [closed]

I have two puzzles here. Whether to use 'and' or 'to' AND should it be 100,00 or 100 thousand. (a) There used to be 10 million but it is estimated that numbers have dropped to between 50 to 100 ...
3
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Is a number range always plural?

If I were to say "2-3 weeks" it seems clear that weeks should be plural. Are there any cases where a number range would not be plural (e.g. 0-1 week or 0-1 weeks)? Would it matter if the usage was ...
8
votes
5answers
12k views

“Lower number” vs. “smaller number”

Is −9 a smaller number than −8? And is −9 a lower number than −8? What is the difference between lower and smaller here?