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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

5
votes
1answer
5k 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.
18
votes
4answers
20k 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
13k 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
83 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
82 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
5k 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
176 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
338 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
59 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
509 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
172 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
271 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
510 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
12k 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 meanings....
1
vote
1answer
202 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 10'...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
390 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 ...
21
votes
13answers
23k 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
14k 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
60 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
199 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
147 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
14k 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?
1
vote
1answer
65 views

How many can follow up with “you”?

Imagine you are talking to a coterie: Who will vote for Obama? (2 hands raise) I want to ask you two... How many can follow up with "you" if there are more people to imply? Who will vote ...
8
votes
8answers
69k 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
votes
1answer
9k views

How to write out numbers in compliance with British usage?

This question regards the numbers from 1 to 999. We can ignore commas, hyphens, and spaces. What I'm interested in is when and where to use the word "and". There are a few interesting cases: 1) 20 &...
7
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
83 views

1 to 5 / by 1 to 5 / from 1 to 5 / 1 untill 5…?

What prepositions should I use when I want to say about a range of numbers? Example of use in a scene where each garden or car was numbered: There are beautiful flowers in the garden #3 to the ...
2
votes
3answers
277 views

Where do these numbers come from, and do we still use them? [duplicate]

I began to read the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, and several times already, I came across numbers the form of which surprise me... First, in A Study in Scarlet, Chapter IV: ...
-1
votes
3answers
131 views

Should small numbers with a unit after them be spelt out or written in digits?

I heard it is better to write out numbers less than ten then to represent them using digits. Is this still true if there's a unit of measurement after the number? For example, in a research paper ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

When you have 5 instead of 4, what's the word instead of “quadrant”?

...or, to phrase it differently, like one of those silly SAT questions... please help me fill in this blank: 4 is to 5 as "quadrant" is to ???? (Does that make sense?)
16
votes
6answers
3k views

911: nine one one vs. nine eleven [closed]

The US emergency telephone number 911 seems to be almost always pronounced as nine one one whereas the Porsche model is typically pronounced as nine eleven One reason I can think of for ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

What method of counting puts Twelfth Night on January 6th?

I know English has (or at least had) some strange usages of eve and night, but I still can’t figure out how December 25th and 12 can be combined to come up with January 6th. (This stems from my ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

1 % of (the) GDP - with or without the article?

What is the correct form? I have consistently encountered both forms. Definite article: required, optional or wrong?
4
votes
3answers
104 views

“Day X” vs. “Xth day”

There are two possibilities to say that something happens on a particular day: The course of psychological support consisted of four 30-minute sessions led by a psychotherapist before and ...
0
votes
4answers
105k 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 thirty-...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a prefix for “infinite”?

I was looking for a prefix I could prepend to a word to mean an infinite amount of the thing the word describes. I eventually found someone with the same question, and since there were no answers, I ...
14
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
376 views

Does primary, secondary, tertiary, […] continue forever?

What follows next in the sequence "unary, binary, ternary..."? gives a lengthy list up to 12 for the sequence "primary, secondary, tertiary, [...]". Does this naming continue forever? If so, ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Why the oddity of speculative/non-specified large numbers

When there is a large number to describe, without knowing the specific number, we can report "millions," or "thousands," or "hundreds." Why do we then break that base-ten (seeming) pattern with "...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

Comparing two numbers

I am wondering how can I express that A is greater than B for some number. For example, can I say "5 is greater than 3 for 2", or should I say "5 is 2 greater than 3"? Thank you so much!
2
votes
1answer
343 views

Use of the word “chance” to mean a number

In the Song I'm a Good Ol' Rebel the lyrics include the verse But I killed a chance of Yankees I'm unable to find a definition of chance that fits this usage. I presume it means a number but I'...
36
votes
8answers
8k views

“1 in 10 are” or “1 in 10 is”?

Take the examples: "One in ten children are dyslexic." "One in ten children is dyslexic." "One in ten children has dyslexia." "One in ten children have dyslexia." The "one" is singular so 2 and 3 ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

how do I write “about four or five hundred US Dollars”

I proofread/edit transcribed witness evidence, and often witnesses will say something like "around four or five thousand dollars". If the evidence is all about figures, I would sometimes write this ...
1
vote
2answers
10k views

English words for specific positive integers (e.g. dozen, score, gross, myriad) [closed]

Dozen = 12 Score = 20 Gross = 144 Myriad = 10,000 Googol = 10¹⁰⁰ Googolplex = 10Googol Indian English: Lakh = 100,000 and Crore = 10,000,000. Ignoring all the numbers already listed on ...