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

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Is “Four times more” grammatically correct? And, if so, what precisely does it mean?

I have 10 beans. Jim has four times more. Is this a valid sentence? And, if so, does it mean Jim has 40 or 50 beans?
7
votes
2answers
3k 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" ...
7
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1answer
116 views

German way of saying numbers found in Dickens [duplicate]

Reading "Great Expectations", I noticed that numbers (I don't remember if this refers to all numbers, but I'm sure it was used when age was concerned) were given in the German way, namely, for ...
6
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10answers
7k views

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 to which the answer is an ordinal number Given that I want to know ...
6
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3answers
35k 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 ...
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5answers
640 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 ...
6
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5answers
970 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 ...
6
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4answers
195 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
6
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1answer
33k views

Difference between “zeros” and “zeroes” [duplicate]

Are there any differences between “zeros” and “zeroes”? Is any of them more correct, more often used, more modern? Are there differences e.g. between British English and American English in the usage ...
6
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3answers
3k 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 ...
6
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5answers
499 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 ...
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4answers
8k 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 ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Why is 1 hand-written without a serif and 7 without a dash? [closed]

I've noticed that people coming from a 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
194 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
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2answers
255 views

A quantity followed by a measurement (eg: 200 35mm circles)

If you have a quantity of items, where the items themselves are described with a measurement, how should you format this so it is unambiguous? For example, This diagram contains... two hundred ...
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votes
5answers
744 views

Thrice or triple?

There is a fairly well known recipe for Triple Cooked Chips. It involves cooking chips three different ways / times. Is triple cooked correct or should it be called Thrice Cooked Chips as they have ...
5
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5answers
937 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
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2answers
456 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
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4answers
898 views

36 thousands or 36 thousand?

I'm almost sure it's 36 thousands, since we're talking about 36 not 1. But I'm in doubt because 36 already indicates that it's more than 1, so maybe, just maybe, it could be 36 thousand?
5
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2answers
3k views

Rule for adding “and” or hyphens between numbers that are spelled out fully in text

For example, take the number 342. It could be written out a number of different ways when spelled out fully. Three hundred forty two Three hundred and forty two Three hundred and forty-two What is ...
5
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2answers
141 views

How to say: “this number has not been rounded”?

Let's say I count some items and the result is exactly 1000. How do I convey the fact that the actual count was 1000, and that I didn't round the number? It should fit into a sentence like "Overall, ...
5
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2answers
335 views

Why “Many and many A year ago”, not “Many, many years ago? Are they same?

I was amused with the introductory part of the New York Times’ article(September 13) by Dick Cavett called “As comics say, ‘These kids today! I tell ya!’” that begins: “Many and many a year ago, ...
5
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2answers
698 views

How to write negative currency in text?

Which version is grammatically correct (given that I hopefully provided at least one correct alternative)? [...] the company yielded a result to the amount of −€6.680 billion in 2008. or ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
5k 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 ...
5
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2answers
156 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 ...
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1answer
113 views

When Things Used To be “Worth 'X' Millions”

I was reading Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, and a character described a rich man as "Worth 20 millions". At least in AmE, we don't use "millions" in the plural anymore in this ...
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3answers
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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
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4answers
302 views

Specific numbers as pronouns

As "none" and "some" are pronouns, so can specific numbers function as pronouns: How many students failed? In "none failed," none is a pronoun. In "seven failed," seven is a pronoun. But in what ...
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3answers
640 views

Why is there a “one” before “hundred”, “thousand”, etc. but not “ten”?

As the title says, why is there a "one" before "hundred", before "thousand", and so on, but not before "ten"? This seems shared between some languages, including Chinese (10 = 十 = ten, 100 = 一百 = one ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
4
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2answers
253 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
247 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 ...
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4answers
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What do you call each individual component of a number: a “digit”, a “figure”, or “place”?

What are the individual 0, 1, 2, "letters" etc. in numbers called? I know the word "digits", I've seen "n-figure salary", and Google translation (from German "Stellen"), when used in a sentence, ...
4
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2answers
1k views

“20th century” vs. “20ᵗʰ century” [closed]

When writing twentieth century using an ordinal numeral, should the th part be in superscript? 20th century 20th century
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votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
4
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4answers
8k 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) ...
4
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2answers
210 views

Can “number” in “number one” possibly be a Dutchism or a Germanism?

On a Dutch news site, someone claimed that the Dutch use of "nummer" (number) used in the meaning of "you are the number one", is actually an anglicism. It triggered my curiosity and I tried to find ...
4
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4answers
456 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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1answer
357 views

Etymology of million vs. millennium

Why is it that a period of one thousand years is a millennium, but one million is a thousand thousands?
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3answers
465 views

“Amount of boxes” vs “number of boxes” in non discrete graph

I have a graph where I show number of boxes that a machine can service per minute. The data may not always give a whole number (for example, a machine may be able to service 2.3 boxes / per minute). ...
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4answers
803 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, ...
4
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3answers
74 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 ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
316 views

Spelling of small numbers? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals? In German, numbers below (and including) twelve are spelt out (eins, zwei, ...) while the numbers above twelve are ...
4
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

How to write decimal values in words

I have 1210.802 units in a mutual fund. How do I write it in words? "One thousand two hundred and ten..." How do I write the decimal units here?
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votes
1answer
595 views

Does one hyphenate height when given in feet and inches?

In a work of fiction I'm writing, I'm using the colloquial phrase five-one to refer to someone's height. Should that be hyphenated as five-one, or should it just be written woth a space separating the ...