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

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1
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1answer
61 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
55k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
8k 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
188 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
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1answer
73 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
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3answers
235 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: ...
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3answers
124 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
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1answer
6k 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
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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
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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
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2answers
115 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
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3answers
95 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
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4answers
90k 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 ...
4
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5answers
1k 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 ...
12
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2answers
10k 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
348 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
74 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
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3answers
73 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
238 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 ...
36
votes
8answers
7k 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
1k 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
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2answers
7k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
906 views

Why do we use Roman numerals for some page numbers but Arabic ones for others?

Why is it that certain pages in English-language books are numbered using Roman numerals, but other pages are numbered using (so-called) Arabic ones? Has it always been this way? Or was the split ...
4
votes
3answers
14k views

Is it improper English to read the number 1100 as “eleven hundred”?

For numbers between 1000 and 9999 is it proper English for the word "hundred" to be used? For example is it necessarily wrong to say "eleven hundred" when referring to 1100?
2
votes
3answers
73 views

How to resolve the ambiguity of “two day classes”

Two day classes will take place this week. Here, "day classes" is a compound. I don't want it to sound like it's just one class that goes on for two days.
2
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1answer
522 views

What is the correct way to express yearly quarters? Is using roman numerals correct?

While looking over a company's annual report, I realized that every business quarter was denoted using roman numerals. E.g. QI,2014 QII, 2014 etc. I am sure I am being petty and pedantic, ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Is there a word for 'within ten units of'?

Is there a word that can used like decade, but when talking about units not years? For example, everyone knows that: 2006 is within a decade of 1998 1989 is in the same decade as 1984 However, ...
2
votes
3answers
160 views

“Ten and several minutes”: Any more natural expression?

Heat the mixture for ten and several minutes. What is a more natural way to express this “ten and several” wording, which is literally translated from Japanese? A. for between ten and 20 ...
5
votes
1answer
146 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 ...
21
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12answers
7k views

What is the name of the first decade in a century?

80s the "Eighties" 90s the "Nineties" 00s the ??? For that matter, what is the second decade called? The "tens" just doesn't sound right.
0
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2answers
61 views

“being wined and dined” — singular?

I want to say, "He loves being wined and dined, and he's not above demanding it." I don't know whether being can be treated as the referent of it, or I must take the whole verb phrase as a plural. I ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

Should street numbers be written as cardinal or ordinal numbers [closed]

When writing a numerical street, do you use a cardinal number (220 Street) or ordinal number (220th Street)
0
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3answers
149 views

proper grammar of multiple numbers ordered sequentially specifying different things

I have a sentence submitted to me from someone else that says One case (8 - one lb. boxes) of... What is the proper grammar to say eight one pound boxes? I'm not sure what the best format is for ...
2
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3answers
472 views

Quiz Show Jeopardy: Are the 1910s called “nineteen-tens” or 'nineteen-teens'?

On the quiz show Jeopardy there is a question asking "The first modern crossword is published & Oreo cookies are introduced". The clip of the show can be seen on YouTube. The contestant who ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Is there a standard for speaking “1500” as “one thousand five hundred” versus “fifteen hundred”?

I was asked by a French colleague, and had no clear answer, whether it's more correct to say "One thousand five hundred" or "fifteen hundred" when speaking the number 1500. Putting aside how we say ...
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2answers
461 views

1.1 = millions of dollars? [duplicate]

The question arises when, perhaps, taking about 1.1 million dollars. Could one say millions of dollars since it's greater than one. Just like we would say, "one dollar," but we would say, "1.1 ...
2
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2answers
2k views
2
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1answer
87 views

How do you 'say' the numbers in: “section 20.1234” in a government regulation? [closed]

How do you read section 20.1234 in a regulation by a government agency? For example, the law is 38 C.F.R. section 20.1234. How do you read 20.1234? Do you read it as "twenty one two three four" or ...
17
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13answers
15k views

How do you correctly say large numbers

I saw a post on The daily What which links to a video where a person counts from 1 to 100,000. Is he saying a large portion of the numbers wrong? Back in high school my algebra teacher was extremely ...
21
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3answers
32k views

“Amount” vs. “number” vs. “quantity”

For what values of x does one write the number of x, the amount of x, or the quantity of x?
3
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1answer
115 views

Which vs. What in regards to Continuous Numbers (like Temperature)?

As this question makes clear, "which" is used when there is a set number of choices available, while "what" is used when there is not a set number of choices available. Which term do we use, however, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
20
votes
12answers
4k views

A word for converting numbers to (number / 1000) + K [duplicate]

Is there a word for the case where a number has been converted to something with a trailing ‘K’ (and possibly ‘M’ for millions, ‘B’ for billions, ...)? Example: 250,000 changes to 250K It will ...
4
votes
2answers
55 views

Approximate values of amount modifiers [duplicate]

This is an area of English that I consistently have trouble with. Consider the following sentences. I have a couple of books on my desk. I have a bunch of books on my desk. I have a number of books ...
5
votes
5answers
1k 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
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

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, ...
0
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1answer
175 views

can I say 'a 300-thousand city'

I am looking for a noun meaning 'having 300 thousand inhabitants' so that I could say for example 'a 300-thousand city' instead of 'a city in which 300 thousand people live' or 'a city inhabited by ...
4
votes
2answers
680 views

Page range abbreviation “pp.164–71” — a typo or a common shorthand? [closed]

I have to translate the following sentence into French: Scrapers and abrasives are used to prepare the surface of a workpiece before a finish (pp.164–71) is applied. I believe there is a mistake ...
9
votes
2answers
7k 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" ...