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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

4
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Is there a term to describe the written format of a monetary quantity as symbol + numeral + unit?

I am trying to describe the desired formatting for numbers in a given document. For rounded monetary quantities over a million this would be dollar sign, arabic numeral, unit (e.g. 3,000,000 dollars ...
2
votes
3answers
310 views

“My latest five novels” or “my five latest novels”?

Is it okay to say "my latest five novels" when I want to express "five of my latest novels"? As far as I know, "five" is a postdeterminer, so it precedes an adjective (except for ...
-5
votes
2answers
142 views

Is it correct to say 'children 12 and under'? [closed]

I'm asking about whether or not this phrase is grammatically correct: 'children 12 and under'. I am also asking for a general analysis of constructions of this type.
-1
votes
2answers
721 views

Do I capitalize or write out 'first' if I write: “Her birthday was May First.”?

I'm writing a story in which a character's birthday (May 1st) is significant. A characters notes in conversation that, "Her birthday is May first." Should I write out 'first' or refer to it as '1st'? ...
0
votes
1answer
10k 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 ?
2
votes
2answers
179 views

Using “and” with numbers [duplicate]

I'm a computer programmer and I'm working about this problem. I must say that I'm not very familiar with British English and I'd like to know when the word and is used in the numbers. The perfect ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Number of noun modified by coordinated PP: “the [X-sg] of [Y] and [Z] is”, or “the [X-pl] of [Y] and [Z] are”?

I've tried searching Google and StackExchange for this one, but I find it difficult to state the problem generally and therefore have had no luck so far; apologies if the answer is already out there ...
6
votes
2answers
217 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" ...
2
votes
4answers
608 views

Would it be correct to say that negative five is less than positive two? [closed]

I often have trouble speaking good English when negative numbers are involved. Would it be correct to say that negative five is less than positive two? If not, what expression is most appropriate? ...
6
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
319 views

Hyphen in physical quantities before nouns?

In cases where a physical quantity (consisting of a number and a unit) is used like an adjective to describe a property of an object, should it be written with or without a hyphen between the number ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Numeric abbreviations in business quotes [closed]

When writing a quote for an order for products, would you write 25K or 25M to refer to 25,000 parts or pounds or units?
2
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
264 views

Reading dollar amounts

I have a question regarding reading dollar amounts. At this store, I saw some scrunchies on sale for $5 per dozen. Should I say, These scrunchies is a five dollar per dozen item. or is this ...
1
vote
4answers
856 views

Is there a term to denote writing numbers in words rather than as digits?

Often when writing we would like numbers to be written out fully e.g. thirty rather than in digits e.g. 30. Is there a name for this kind of representation?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

English word for the comma between three digits

The common number formatting convention uses a decimal point between the integer part and the fraction, and a comma between every three digits of the number: 1000000 -> 1,000,000 12345 + 1/5 ...
14
votes
3answers
533 views

Is there a word like cardinal or ordinal but for the “single, double, triple” series?

The words one, two, three, and so on are the cardinal numbers. Similarly, first, second, third, and so on are the ordinal numbers. Is there a similar term for the words single, double, triple, ...
4
votes
2answers
372 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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
0answers
60 views

(n+1)st or (n+1)th? [duplicate]

When referring to object number n+1, is it the (n+1)st or (n+1)th object? Of course, object number 1 would be referred to as the 1st, but since I would say n plus one, adding an -st would make this ...
-1
votes
2answers
738 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
80 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
703 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
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.
0
votes
3answers
856 views

many hours is? or are?

Time, distance, weight are treated as singular, like "3 hours is too long." Then, in this instance, "How many hours of sleep is/are needed to keep fit?" Is "is" correct?
2
votes
2answers
596 views

The battery, etc., is (are?) included.

When “etc.” is used with a singular subject, such as in the following sentence, should the verb be singular or plural? The battery, etc., is included.
7
votes
1answer
53k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I capitalize “Billion” in a bulleted list?

I have list of values in a report used to highlight demographic information. For dollar values, should I capitalize the word "Billion", or leave it lower case? Here's a sample: Appraised Value: ...
2
votes
2answers
342 views

Is there a special word for amounts between 11 and 20?

Translation is often tricky. I'm stuck with the Polish word kilkanaście, which literally means few-teen. It is used to describe an amount more than ten, but less than 20 (or including 20, it's hard to ...
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".
-1
votes
1answer
186 views

How paragraph numbers are read

I'd be glad if someone could tell me how numbers like "2.3.4.5.6" are read (pronounced)? "Two dot three dot four..." or "two three four" or maybe "two point three point four"?
5
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
537 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
578 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
720 views

How can I say in one word “number written in words”?

If there should be numbers written in words, like "one hundred and ten" instead of "110", how can I say it in one word?
10
votes
2answers
420 views

Is “-th” still a productive suffix in English?

The main question here is whether using -(e)th to create ordinals out of cardinals1 is still considered a productive suffix in English. Is it? If so, then does it matter whether we are in a formal ...
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? ...
6
votes
2answers
284 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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
8
votes
3answers
868 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
623 views

Transcribing long repeating phone numbers

I always have this problem of telling people my phone number which consists of a series of repeating numbers: 184 555 5555 (DO NOT CALL, this is just as an example) I can tell people it is: ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
221 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
votes
6answers
22k 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
2k views

Meaning of “x is 35 times less than y" [closed]

I’m not sure of whether this is grammatically correct, although I've encountered the same expression many times before. Most Google searches show it produces 35 times less carbon than the report ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

Pronunciation of OS X versions [closed]

I don't feel like this belongs on SU, so I put it here. I know that "OS X" is pronounced "oh-ess ten," but how should the common construction "OS X 10.9" be pronounced? The primary possibility I can ...