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

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1answer
22 views

Correct usage of words about numbers and decimal places

I was told by a friend that they were taught to write numbers in this fashion: (1 ten thousanths, 1 thousandths, 1 hundreths, 1 tenths, 1 tens, 1 hundreds). I was wondering why they would be taught ...
4
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4answers
10k views

How do they express the time, in American and British English?

I don't know if this is a good question. But as far as I know, and as I do it, American English also say "after" other than "past" in expressing times. For example, a quarter after six instead of, a ...
6
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5answers
719 views

How to express someone's height in metric

If someone is 169cm tall, what is the most common way of saying their height in metres and centimetres in American/Australian/British English? I'm not interested in converting metres (meters) and ...
1
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1answer
103 views

“It's 20 meters thick” versus “It's a 20-meter-thick layer.”

I know that both of these expressions are correct, but I'd like to be able to explain exactly why the first one is correct. Of course compound adjectives are hyphenated (second expression), but in the ...
6
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3answers
12k 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
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1answer
97 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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2answers
48 views

Which is correct, in each number, or on each number or for each number?

Which is correct, in each number, or on each number or for each number? I need to ask questions mentioning that each number has a different instruction. Any help that includes sentence examples will ...
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5answers
15k views

Is an apostrophe with a decade (e.g. 1920’s) generally considered “incorrect”?

I typically don’t use an apostrophe with plurals in any situation, but I always assumed that the use of an apostrophe in constructions like acronyms: Forty BA’s were given out to students this ...
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6answers
2k views

19th century English texts occasionally use Germanic-style number words, such as “four-and-twenty”. When did this fall out of use?

19th century English texts occasionally use Germanic-style number words, such as "four-and-twenty", but the same text would also have the modern "twenty-four" in places (see e.g. Conan-Doyle for ...
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1answer
40 views

Can numbers be treated as nouns?

Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice , a novel that in 2005 was adapted into a film starring Keira Knightley. I was solving a question in which you have to find all the nouns in a sentence, and ...
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1answer
66 views

American money specifics in writing a check

why can you write a check for twenty-nine hundred or thirty-one hundred but not one for thirty hundred? it seems strange that the numbers before and after are accepted but not thirty hundred must be ...
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4answers
13k 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 ...
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5answers
5k views

36 thousands or 36 thousand? [closed]

I'm almost sure it's 36 thousands, since we're talking about 36 not 1. But I'm in doubt because 36 already indicates that it's more than 1, so maybe, just maybe, it could be 36 thousand?
4
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1answer
82 views

List of numbers in a sentence with thousands-separators (commas)

I need to list off a few large numbers (with thousands separators) in a sentence. The total number of observations, N=55,123, comprises 92596, 51456, 7714 and 2445 from the first, second, third ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

Should I put a comma between this list of 2 facts?

Let A denote the phrase A: John showed that x is a positive number, and let B be the phrase B: Kim showed that x is a multiple of 2. I want to say that a fact follows from A and B. My ...
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5answers
1k views

Saying a number digit by digit

Is it okay in an informal conversation to say a number digit by digit? For example, is it okay to say "two five six kilobytes" instead of "two hundred and fifty-six kilobytes"?
2
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1answer
73 views

When lac can be written as lakh or lacs?

In India, 100 thousand is sometime referred to as 1 lakh, while sometime as 1 lac. I am not sure if lakh is correct. Sometimes, I find the people writing more than one lac (or lakh) as lacs (or lacs). ...
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4answers
7k views

How can I form a word like “quadruple” for any number I want?

I'm not sure what these are called, but how can I form a word like "quadruple" for any number I want? Like 5× as much is quintuple, what is 31× as much or 147× as much? I want to know how they are ...
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0answers
8 views

Base and Exponent [duplicate]

My question is about base and power. How do you read 2^3? Two to the third or two to the three? which one is correct? In general, a^b is read "a to the b" or "a to the b-th?
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0answers
43 views

How you ask the the number of times something is being done? [duplicate]

Assume someone is eating an apple and this the third apple he is eating. You want to ask him a question to know if that is the first, second, third, fourth, .. apple he is eating. What you ask? (His ...
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5answers
1k views

Is there a verb that fits in the pattern: quarter, third, halve (divide), [???], double, triple, quadruple. . .?

If these were nouns, I would assume "single" fits in between: 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . quarter, third, half, single or one, double, triple, quadruple . . . Note that each word has a ...
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5answers
5k views

Does “five hundredth” mean 0.05 or 1/500?

What does "five hundredth of a second" mean? To me, "five hundredth" means 1/500 or 0.002. But I've seen people use it to mean 0.05 in sports (e.g. Athlete won the 100m sprint by five hundredth of a ...
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0answers
20 views

When using a numerical name to start a sentence, is the second word capitalized? [duplicate]

Example: The John could see all of the prisoners from where he sat on horseback. 321 picked up the hammer and continued breaking the stones. OR 321 Picked up the hammer and continued breaking the ...
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1answer
71 views

Article before “two” with intervening adjective? [duplicate]

Consider the following sentence: (1) The project will include Alice, Bob, and an expected two new hires. This sounds correct to me; it means we are expecting to hire two new people and will put ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the history of “nil” in British football /soccer?

In British football if neither team scores a goal, the score is said to be: nil-nil or nil-nil draw. Curiously, the winning team's results are always spoken first. So if Arsenal are playing home the ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do we use the article 'a' when referring to 100 items? But we don't use it when referring to any other plural count?

Edit Note: This question has been linked to these questions about using an article before adjectives modifying numbers. This question here has nothing to do with adjectives at all: Indefinite ...
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1answer
443 views

What is the term for replacing a letter with a number in a word? [duplicate]

What is the term for replacing a letter with a number in a word, such as UNREAL being written as UNR34L? Quite often seen on licence plates, it is almost satirical misspelling, but the definition of ...
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1answer
48 views

How do you read powers and roots?

I'm wondering how do you read the following expressions. I have some guesses but I'd like someone to confirm whether my guesses are right and if there are other ways to read those numbers other than ...
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2answers
88 views

Number word or Arabic numeral? [duplicate]

Is there a rule for good usage as concerns applying a number word as "one", "two" and so on as opposed to Arabic numerals as "1342"? Is it, for instance, a rule that numbers less than 20 should be ...
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3answers
51 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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1answer
35 views

“the 10-years evolution show…” or “the 10-year evolution shows…” [duplicate]

What is the correct sentence between these two forms: "the 10-years evolution show..." or "the 10-year evolution shows...". ? Both answers seem okay to me. Also, what about the dash ...
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3answers
7k views

What do we call the “rd” in “3ʳᵈ” and the “th” in “9ᵗʰ”?

Our numbers have a specific two-letter combination that tells us how the number sounds. For example 9th 3rd 301st What do we call these special sounds?
4
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1answer
63 views

Pluralizing Numbered Items

In US legal practice, we often refer to numbered items: Interrogatory No. 1, Request for Admission No. 3, U.S. Patent No. 5,555,555. What part of the item should be pluralized? That is, should one ...
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6answers
27k views

How to use “tens of” and “hundreds of”?

If I'm not mistaken, tens of means 10 to 99 and hundreds of means 100 to 999. Is this correct? I found in some dictionaries that tens of is actually not correct. I also found that hundreds of could ...
9
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10answers
18k views

How to ask a question to get an ordinal number answer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number? Framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number Given that I want to know Barack ...
0
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1answer
723 views

How do I ask a question about someone's order of birth? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number How to phrase an asking sentence that must be answered with an ordinal number? How to ask a question to get a cardinal ...
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1answer
54 views

7 Up: Spelling out of numerals

Do I spell out "7+" as in "The odds ratio for a suicide attempt in adulthood ranged from 2.3 in those with one early life trauma to 29.8 in those with 7+ adverse childhood experiences" to "more than ...
3
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3answers
190 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. ...
128
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14answers
6k views

Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?

The junction has a stop sign on each of the four entrances. The junction has a stop sign on each of the 4 entrances. The first is preferred, for some reason, by many English texts. Why? I ...
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0answers
36 views

Why are figures 1-9 written as numbers, but after 9 written in alphabet form? [duplicate]

I have tried to research this .. could anyone answer why figures 1-9 are written as digits/numbers and then from 9 onwards they are typed in alphabetical form?
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2answers
15k views

Why is 1 hand-written without a serif and 7 without a dash? [closed]

I've noticed that people coming from English-speaking countries tend to write "1" without the upstroke and "7" without a dash: which differs from the way the numbers are usually written in ...
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1answer
30 views

Proper use of number of

Is it right to say "The service is secured under numbers of protocols" or it is better to say "The service is secured under number of protocols"?
2
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1answer
53 views

How should I write long numbers in comma separated lists or parenthetical phrases?

In writing out a sentence with a parenthetical number, it occurred to me that it is a bit difficult to read. Is there a better way? (Yes, this is a bit of a contrived example and yes, I realize it ...
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2answers
163 views

What do you call this fraction?

Is this how you write these fractions in words? 5/21 is five twenty-ones, 1/21 is one twenty-one. Can someone please clear this for me? I know 1/4 is one-quarter or one-fourth and 2/5 is two-fifths ...
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5answers
6k views

Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value?

$1,000 is pronounced as "one thousand dollars". Reading from left to right, it seems like it would make more sense to write the value as: 1,000$. This way the pronunciation of the value follows the ...
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2answers
160 views

1st percentile, 2nd percentile… But how to say “2.5th” percentile?

It is necessary for me to write about the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of a data set. What is the correct way of writing this? This post talks about "zeroth", "n-th" and even "epsilonth" as ...
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2answers
666 views

When are Roman Numeral suffixes appropriate for number abbreviations?

This question was asked and closed last year as general reference. However, it did not attract the caliber of answer I expected it to. I suggested the following content as an edit, but it was rejected ...
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4answers
5k views

I've said it once, I've said it twice, I've said it a thousand times: English doesn't make sense

I had a student moaning at me because I insisted he say twice and not "two times". And he asked "But why?" to which I replied, "Because that's how you say it!" However on reflection, his question was ...
0
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1answer
377 views

Reading zero as O (fifteenth letter in English) [duplicate]

I’ve observed that people read the digit zero as oh as though it were the letter O. For example, in a telephone number where 0800 is oh eight hundred. Why? Where was this decided, or can anyone ...
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3answers
7k 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 ...