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

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2answers
3k 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 ...
4
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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?
4
votes
1answer
692 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
votes
1answer
201 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
votes
1answer
108 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
votes
1answer
686 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'?
4
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2answers
35 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 ...
4
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2answers
181 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 ...
3
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3answers
5k 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
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4answers
808 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 ...
3
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2answers
258 views

How do you pronounce ¹⁄₁₂?

Could you let me know how to pronounce “1/12” properly ?
3
votes
4answers
8k 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
604 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
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
298 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
767 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.
3
votes
6answers
705 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
votes
2answers
120 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
286 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 ...
3
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3answers
7k 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?
3
votes
4answers
117 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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3answers
1k 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
votes
2answers
132 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
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5answers
444 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
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
4k 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
votes
1answer
17 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
3answers
186 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 ...
3
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2answers
1k 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
votes
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
6k 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
235 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
195 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?
3
votes
0answers
609 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
votes
0answers
401 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
226 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
373 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
174 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
1answer
3k 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?)
2
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

“A hundred percent” vs. “hundred percent”

Which sentence is grammatically correct: I'm a hundred percent sure I'm hundred percent sure Any help would be greatly appreciated!
2
votes
2answers
235 views

Is it safe to use the British standard for numbering in a novel with a worldwide audience? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Billion and other large numbers Where I am from (Barbados) I grew up knowing a Billion to = 1000 000 000 000, not 1000 000 000, and it was some years before I learned to ...
2
votes
4answers
512 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? ...
2
votes
2answers
573 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?
2
votes
2answers
254 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
896 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)?
2
votes
2answers
462 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.
2
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3answers
110 views

Does ‘the mighty’ take a verb in plural form as in “the mighty are rendered helpless”?

There was the following sentence in the article of Time magazine’s November 25 issue under the title, “John F. Kennedy's Assassination and the Conspiracy Industry.” “This whiplash convergence of ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Is it correct to omit number suffix on dates?

If I have a date written: Saturday 16 December is it correct ? Or does the grammar oblige me to add the number suffix to 16 making 16th as in: Saturday 16th December ?