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

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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 ...
4
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
4
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2answers
329 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
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 ...
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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
1k 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 ...
4
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1answer
242 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 ...
4
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1answer
112 views

Toll Booths 1,2 and 5

Suppose I have a collection of numbered items, say toll booths that are numbered from 1 to 10. Consider three sentences: Toll booth 4 is closed today. Toll booth 1, toll booth 2, and toll ...
4
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1answer
220 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, ...
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2answers
1k views

Is it proper to use ordinal suffixes on fractions?

I know in more formal writing, spelling out fractions is preferred (e.g. two-thirds), and in math no suffix is used, but I frequently see ordinal suffixes being used on fractions (e.g. 2/3rds), even ...
4
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1answer
746 views

How to compare quantities and values?

Which is the correct way to compare two values or quantities? Apart from 'greater than', or 'lower than', could you say something like '1 is close to 2, but far from 9'?
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2answers
83 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?
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2answers
44 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 ...
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2answers
212 views

At least two or more: Not always redundant?

At least two or more Is the “or more” bit above ever not redundant? Seems absolutely redundant to me, but it gets about 170 million Google hits, and many from government sites and university ...
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3answers
7k views

How to write numbers in words

How do we translate 1210 into words: 1) one thousand, two hundred, and ten 2) one thousand, two hundred and ten or without the commas 3) one thousand two hundred and ten 4) one thousand two ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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?)
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3answers
4k 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?
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2answers
310 views

How do you pronounce ¹⁄₁₂?

Could you let me know how to pronounce “1/12” properly ?
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2answers
277 views

Almost half a dozen [closed]

I understand, dozen may be more comfortable than twelve in speech. I can understand using over a dozen or almost a dozen These imply rough measurement of the count, maybe ten, maybe eleven, or maybe ...
3
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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
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3answers
4k views

“Thousands of thousands” vs. “Thousands upon thousands”

Is "thousands of thousands" grammatically correct? Why does it seem that "thousands upon thousands" sounds better, even though the former is closer to the logical truth? Is there any difference at ...
3
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3answers
697 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?
3
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4answers
1k views

Writing large percentages

So, I have a reason to display percentages in the thousands and greater 1000%, 20000%, etc should they be written with or without thousand separators? 1,000%, 20,000%, etc I have been Googling and ...
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3answers
321 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 ...
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3answers
818 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.
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1answer
600 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
3
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1answer
59 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 ...
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4answers
200 views

“One in a million” or “A million to one”?

Last week I took part in an English course, and the teacher was constantly saying a million to one (when he meant "an extremely small possibility"). Is this correct? Is it the same as one in a ...
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6answers
1k views

In mathematics, when referring to pure numbers is largest or biggest correct?

When referring to a list of number is largest or biggest correct? For example, I want to find the biggest number in an array. Or should it be the largest number. Finally, would either biggest or ...
3
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2answers
222 views

“Second” et “Deuxième”

Hello and happy new year ! Sorry for my english, I'm french and not very fluent in english. I tried to do my best and progress. I'm currently searching the english for "deuxième". In french, they ...
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5answers
570 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
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3answers
312 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 ...
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3answers
8k 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?
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4answers
300 views

What do you call a fraction that cannot be written as a finite decimal?

For example, the fraction ⅓ cannot be written, because it repeats infinitely (0.33333333... etc). Is there a particular word for numbers that cannot be written directly, but must be expressed as ...
3
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2answers
171 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 ...
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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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1answer
44 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
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3answers
381 views

Word for the number being added-to OR subtracted-from another number

In division, we have a dividend and a divisor. According to this page, we also have minuend and subtrahend augend and addend multiplicand and multiplier which are rarely used because order ...
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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: ...
3
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2answers
7k views

Reading out decimal numbers in English [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to write decimal values in words How do you read numbers like these? 0.12 "oh point twelve", "zero point one two", "zero and twelve hundreds" And these ones? ...
3
votes
1answer
431 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
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4answers
365 views

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates?

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates? By 'ordinal suffix' I mean '-th', '-nd', '-rd', e.g. 'April 17' instead of 'April 17th'. If they do, is there an explanation for this behavior?
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0answers
678 views

Interrogative form of a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? How to ask a question to get a cardinal number answer Neil ...
3
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0answers
462 views

How do you say this in English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Framing a question to which the answer is an ordinal number How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime) ? It ...
3
votes
0answers
229 views

Why do we say “odd” when describing numbers? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where did the “odd” in “N odd years” come from? When we speak about numbers, we usually associate "odd" with it. For example, "We have 70-odd ...
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2answers
425 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. ...
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votes
2answers
213 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
8k views

When to spell out numbers [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals? Based on my previous question regarding spelling out monetary amounts, is there a rule of thumb when a number should be ...