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

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“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 ...
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4answers
2k 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
487 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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4answers
3k 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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1answer
990 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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3answers
214 views

Cardinal or ordinal numbers when the word “number” is used

In the sentence "He was number three to finish the race", is the word "three" an ordinal or cardinal number? My gut reaction is that it's a cardinal number, but I'm having a hard time arguing for it. ...
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2answers
1k 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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4answers
10k 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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5answers
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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. ...
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3answers
298 views

What is the practice of pricing goods at numbers such as 3.95, 69.90, 198 called? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the term for pricing items just below a significant value (e.g. $19,995) It is common on price tags to use $3.95 instead of $4.00 to make items appear cheaper. ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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3answers
370 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 ...
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3answers
76 views

Should a comma be used in a scientific quantity such as wavelength?

In astronomy we often use a unit called Angstrom which is a unit of length. The symbol is \AA. Should I write 3000 A or 3,000 A? How strict is the rule for using commas?
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6answers
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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 ...
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2answers
296 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 ...
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3answers
372 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
15k 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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1answer
195 views

Is there a proper name for counting with letters?

How should one refer to the practice of using letters instead of numbers for counting? I'm referring to this: "A, B, C, ... X, Y, Z, AA, AB, AC, AD, AE, AF, AG... ZX, ZY, ZZ, AAA, AAB..." ...
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3answers
155 views

The first two of ten thousand have been delivered

Does this mean that the first literal two have been delivered? Or does it mean the first two thousand have been delivered?
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2answers
317 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.?" ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
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'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 ...
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1answer
122 views

Thesis: spell out numbers or not?

I'm unsure if I should spell out numbers or not, in this specific case of the thesis: This is the area I'm concerned with and I tried both approaches: Setup 1 is a static setup with seven nodes in ...
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1answer
132 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, ...
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1answer
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“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 ...
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3answers
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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
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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: ...
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2answers
1k views

Over or under half price

If something normally cost £300 and someone is selling exactly the same item for £100, is this: over half price under half price Does it depend on context or is either correct? ...
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2answers
14k 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? ...
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0answers
925 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 ...
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0answers
699 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 ...
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0answers
234 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
478 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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2answers
413 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 ...
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1answer
6k views

What is an appropriate word for a third-tier item (primary, secondary, …)? [closed]

If a first-tier item is called primary, and a second-tier item is called secondary, what can third, and greater, -tier items be called?
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2answers
9k 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!
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2answers
291 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 ...
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4answers
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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? ...
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2answers
1k 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?
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4answers
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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 ?
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2answers
2k 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.
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1answer
268 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: ...
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3answers
232 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 ...
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3answers
171 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?
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2answers
494 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 ...
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2answers
6k views

Usage of “second/third/fourth … last”

In German there is a pattern for counting items from the end of a list. The last item is "das letzte", the one before is "das vorletzte", the one before that is "das vorvorletzte" and for each other ...
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2answers
445 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 ...
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2answers
471 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 ...
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1answer
547 views

Is it acceptable to use digit and word form of numbers in the same sentence/paragraph?

To illustrate, this reads a bit awkward: In a country with 75 billion SMBs, at least seven billion of them should advertise. What's the acceptable practice in such sentences ?
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1answer
97 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 ...