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

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0
votes
4answers
104 views

Is it correct to say -1th or -1st?

I like to say -1 as negative one. So, should I say "negative oneth index" or "negative first index"? Which one is grammatical? Is there a way to avoid this problem altogether.
-2
votes
2answers
36 views

How many numeric outliers with 'hundred' can be used?

In English there are numeric outliers from ten hundred to twenty-nine hundred. I googled and found a song with the words 'forty-five hundred times'. Is it only a made-up word for the song or there ...
2
votes
2answers
38 views

Indicating year when writing currency

Is there a convention for indicating the year of a monetary amount? Because of inflation citing a monetary sum is rather useless without specifying the year: $20 in 1900 is very different than $20 in ...
11
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

How many is a zillion?

1 million = 1,000,000. 1 billion = 1,000,000,000 or 1,000,000,000,000 depending on if using the long or short scale. How many is a zillion? Although Wikipedia redirects "Zillion" to "Indefinite ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

How to write £1 million where style guide clashes

I am writing the figure of £1,000,000 in a presentation but finding that my style guide clashes with what looks right. 'Million' must be spelled out. '£' must be used instead of 'pounds'. Numbers ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Spelling of numbers and particle “and”

I know that in order to spell a number you have to insert an "and" between the hundred and units. For instance 301 will be "three hundred and one". But what about larger numbers? 1,301 is "one ...
22
votes
13answers
8k views

What is the name of the first decade in a century?

80s the "Eighties" 90s the "Nineties" 00s the ??? For that matter, what is the second decade called? The "tens" just doesn't sound right.
0
votes
2answers
64 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Hyphenation with numbers [closed]

I know that a compound adjective preceding a noun would require hyphenation in most circumstances; however, this particular phrasing has me doubting myself and I'd just like some clarification, if ...
11
votes
3answers
10k views

“A million and a half” vs. “one and a half million”

Every so often, I come across the phrase "a million and a half X" - which always strikes me as strange: it suggests 1000000.5 of the thing. I was taught to use instead "one and a half million" to be ...
1
vote
1answer
79 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 ...
70
votes
8answers
102k views

Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not?

When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I was taught that to make a plural of an acronym, a letter, or a number, one should add an apostrophe and "s". Like I would have written this sentence, ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Abbreviated numerical values [closed]

I'm presenting a quick power point showing a venue's revenue stream. I don't want to give specific numbers, so I'm generalizing with numerical abbreviations. Revenue is over a million, but the ...
6
votes
2answers
523 views

Can you use “a” before “1/4” when there is no unit following?

I know you can say things like "a 1/4 inch hole" and similar, where the article belongs to the noun and not to the quarter. A colleague of mine is about to publish something like "a 1/4 of the people ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Is it 20s or 20's? [duplicate]

Is an apostrophe necessary when you are referring to a set of years? Is the correct version 20s or 20's? (Twenties)
5
votes
1answer
195 views

What is the name for the group of words that includes “once”, “twice”, and “thrice”?

If "one", "two", and "three" are cardinal numbers, and "first", "second", and "third" are ordinal numbers, then what are "once", "twice", and "thrice"? Is there a name for this kind of number?
1
vote
2answers
55 views

When and how to use numbers in writing [duplicate]

When writing is it correct to use numerals (e.g. 1,2,3,) or spell out the number (e.g. one,two,three)?
-1
votes
1answer
45 views

Is it technically correct to say I have “one exam” if I actually have four exams? [duplicate]

If a college student asks one of his fellow students the question: Do you have one exam? and the student replies: Yes, I have one exam. when he actually has four exams, is the answer ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Correct grammatical number for English money [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct or better? A) Here's £5. B) Here are £5. In case both should be correct, could you explain why? Thanks a lot in advance.
0
votes
0answers
33 views

2000 (the year) vs year 2000

All these sound perfectly fine to me: We know much more today than we did in 1976. We know much more today than we did in 1900. But this doesn't feel right: We know much more today than we did ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Is it ok to use commas after a number written in digits?

In Dog-eating an exaggerated myth I categorically state that [eating dogs] is not at all a widespread Swiss habit and that the 3 per cent (that would make 130,000 Kiwis) are totally made up. ...
1
vote
2answers
186 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
10k 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?
2
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

To address denominations of cash [duplicate]

"Please bring lots of $1.00s and $5.00s" or "Please bring lots of $1.00's and 5.00's"?
5
votes
3answers
381 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Correct usage of words about numbers and decimal places [closed]

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
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
15k 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
1answer
193 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..." ...
20
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
16k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
6k 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
votes
1answer
140 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
22 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 ...
8
votes
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
votes
1answer
342 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). ...
12
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
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?
0
votes
0answers
67 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...