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

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6
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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 ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Can “another” be used with plural nouns provided periods or measurements don’t count?

Merriam-Webster says about another the following: being one more in addition to one or more of the same kind —http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/another However, I come across such ...
4
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Including units of a measure in a range

When specifying a range of values that have a unit of measure associated with them, what is the best practice for where to include the unit of measure? 1lb - 20lb Or 1 - 20lb And how ...
4
votes
3answers
272 views

Numbers and units

I'm looking for a single word to describe the combination of a number and unit. For example, “6 watts” or “2.5 kilometers”. Measurement is the closest I’ve come, but sounds cumbersome. Does anyone ...
3
votes
2answers
432 views

Verb agreement with nouns modified by numbers [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it “5-6 weeks are a lot of time” or “5-6 weeks is a lot of time”? I am writing about a baseball player who has 33 at-bats in his career. ...
3
votes
3answers
834 views

Is it a good idea to begin a sentence with a number or a variable name?

Is it acceptable to have the following sentences in formal writing? 2.5 years have already been completed. or n shows the number of something.
3
votes
4answers
5k views

'2-3' or 'two to three' proper use

In the following sentence is the use of '2-3' appropriate for a PowerPoint presentation or should it be 'two to three'? Research shows that a deaf child tends to produce signs 2-3 months earlier ...
1
vote
4answers
8k views

How to write dollar amounts in a narrative

What's the best way to write dollar amounts in a narrative (such as a novel), particularly if the amounts are large and/or fractional? I would use this: "The national debt just hit 14.6 trillion ...
0
votes
2answers
316 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 ...
29
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 ...
36
votes
3answers
20k 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!
3
votes
5answers
587 views

What is the term for groups of numerals within a large number?

I am writing software in which I would like to be able to return the groups of numerals within a large number. For example, given a number 123,456,789, my software would return 123 then 456 then 789. ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

Why does the gorilla weigh exactly 800 pounds? [closed]

It is common in American English to refer to a powerful person or organization as an 800 pound gorilla. The expression makes sense -- a gorilla of that size would certainly be intimidating -- but ...
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a word for numbers between 10 and 99?

I'd like to find such a word instead of saying "greater than 10 but less than 100".
8
votes
2answers
5k 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" ...
6
votes
5answers
630 views

How do I write consecutive numbers?

Today I wrote the sentence: The supplied definition defines 24 16-bit words per subframe, and ... I know the recipient will understand the terminology. I'm concerned about writing the phrase ...
6
votes
3answers
46k views

31th or 31st is correct? [closed]

I just realized that I’ve never needed to use 31th or 31st in my four years English study. So which one is correct, and what about other alternatives? 31th or 31st 101th or 101st 1001th or ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

Is an apostrophe with a decade (e.g. 1920’s) generally considered “incorrect”?

I typically don’t use an apostrophe with plurals in any situation, but I always assumed that the use of an apostrophe in constructions like acronyms: Forty BA’s were given out to students this ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

The problem is threefold?

The problems are threefold. The problem is threefold. Which is the right way to use the -fold suffix? Note - This question was previously asked by a user whose account has been suspended, ...
2
votes
1answer
378 views

Is it acceptable to use digit and word form of numbers in the same sentence/paragraph?

To illustrate, this reads a bit awkward: In a country with 75 billion SMBs, at least seven billion of them should advertise. What's the acceptable practice in such sentences ?
0
votes
0answers
57 views

How would you phrase questions that require an “interrogative ordinal” which is absent in English? [duplicate]

Duplicate of: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number? ...
9
votes
3answers
959 views

What is the correct term to describe 'primary', 'secondary', etc

What is the correct term to describe the words in the following sequence: primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, denary, duodenary, etc. I am thinking ...
6
votes
2answers
225 views

After 13 years in the 21st century, what conclusion have we come to regarding the short forms of the names of the years?

Do you remember the other Year 2000 problem, regarding the nicknames of the years? If 1999 was "ninety-nine," then what would we call 2001? At the time, answers such as "one", "oh-one", "two-oh-one" ...
6
votes
8answers
27k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
250 views

Name for number format used in “Section 3.2.1”

Does that kind of numbering style have a common name or names? To be fair, it is really more of an "identifier" since it certainly not a scalar (one-dimensional) number. It isn't fair to call it a ...
5
votes
2answers
873 views

1st hour, 2nd hour, 3rd hour… But how to say “zero”-th hour?

E.g. in School we have 5-7 or 8 hours every day (Math, History, Biology, Chemistry, English etc.). The first hour starts at 8:00 A.M. But every Thursday we have an hour that stars at 7:10 A.M. In ...
5
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

How to correctly specify a range of temperatures in both Fahrenheit and Celsius?

Current icky wording: ... they do best in temperatures between 40 and 125 degrees F. ( 5 and 52 degrees C ) Using the "degree" symbol seems correct, but in a range should it be specified for ...
4
votes
4answers
11k views

Standard format for phone numbers? [closed]

I've recently noticed a wider variety in how phone numbers are presented, both in print and online, specifically with regard to spacing & punctuation. Examples: +1 (555) 123 4567 +1 (555) ...
3
votes
1answer
506 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
321 views

How do you pronounce ¹⁄₁₂?

Could you let me know how to pronounce “1/12” properly ?
3
votes
3answers
313 views

Spelling out non-cardinal small numbers

I understand that it's common to spell small numbers in words. However, all examples of this rule I could find use cardinals (i.e. expressing the size of a set of entities) like in: We met two cats ...
3
votes
3answers
323 views

How to write numbers one after the other in different context

Sorry if the title is poor. I am having a hard time thinking of a good title. If I wanted to say something like: "We will have 5 two-hour sessions". Is there a proper way of listing this? "Five ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

A few more “hundred” vs “hundreds”

If we're talking about 8 hundred (an exact number of hundreds) we use the singular for the ordinal. But what if we use an unspecified quantity such as "more". Or, I just said it: "number of hundreds". ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

Should it be “mid 80s” or “mid-80s”?

When discussing temperatures or decades, should it be hyphenated? I understood that two-word adjectives need to be hyphenated, but why does MS Word think this should be, too?
3
votes
3answers
720 views

What word can I say if I want to give approximate number?

What to say if I want to tell approximate number of something. What should I say? E.g. I have (around/ about/ some) 5 books. Is there a rule for number approximation?
2
votes
2answers
220 views

Term for writing a number as “five” vs “5”?

What I mean is, if I said "Write the number _ ", then you would write "5", "27", etc. Whereas if I said instead "Write the number _ ", then you would write "five", "twenty-seven", etc. I'm not just ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “12:30” (the time of day) an abstract noun?

Nothing else to add, I just want to make sure.
1
vote
3answers
665 views

The reasons are two. Correct?

I stumbled upon this phrase in this video's description. A few words about this masterpiece: Brahms began composing this piece in 1854 and finished it in 1876. The reasons for delaying ...
1
vote
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
84 views

Reading discount rates

How I should read discount rates like the following: a $3.50 discount I'm not sure if I should say "a three-fifty dollar discount," "a three dollar and fifty cent discount," or ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

What is the question for which the answer is “This is my third coffee today”? [duplicate]

Duplicate of: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number How manyth son ...
1
vote
2answers
561 views

Usage of hyphens with numeric measurements

What is correct: two 1-Gb links; two 1 Gb links; or two 1Gb links? I suspect the first, however I do not know the name of this situation, which makes it difficult to for me to find via Google. I ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

Correct way to write a range of dollar figures

What is the best way to express the range from $4.5 billion to $5.2 billion? Is the following correct? ... between $4.5 and $5.2 billion...
0
votes
1answer
12k views

Why eleven is not called onety one [duplicate]

I want to know why eleven is not called "onety one"? Since eleven comes after ten, why is not "onety one"? and why ten is not called onety ?
0
votes
3answers
1k views

When do the “-uple”s end? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to form single, double, triple… and uni-, bi-, tri-… words? There's single, double, triple, quadruple... — what's next? Is there an end to the ...
-1
votes
2answers
846 views

Reading dollar amounts after “priced at” [duplicate]

I'd like to know the correct way to read dollar amounts after the expression "priced at." If I want to read the sentence "This app is priced at $3.99." would it typically be read as ...