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Numbers in English

Thứ tư - 27/09/2017 16:57 | Số lượt đọc: 59
Numbers in English

Numbers in English

The cardinal numbers (one, two, three, etc.) are adjectives referring to quantity, and the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) refer to distribution.


Number Cardinal Ordinal Number Cardinal Ordinal
1 one first 23 twenty-three twenty-third
2 two second 24 twenty-four twenty-fourth
3 three third 25 twenty-five twenty-fifth
4 four fourth 26 twenty-six twenty-sixth
5 five fifth 27 twenty-seven twenty-seventh
6 six sixth 28 twenty-eight twenty-eighth
7 seven seventh 29 twenty-nine twenty-ninth
8 eight eighth 30 thirty thirtieth
9 nine ninth 31 thirty-one thirty-first
10 ten tenth 40 forty fortieth
11 eleven eleventh 50 fifty fiftieth
12 twelve twelfth 60 sixty sixtieth
13 thirteen thirteenth 70 seventy seventieth
14 fourteen fourteenth 80 eighty eightieth
15 fifteen fifteenth 90 ninety ninetieth
16 sixteen sixteenth 100 one hundred hundredth
17 seventeen seventeenth 500 five hundred five hundredth
18 eighteen eighteenth 1,000 one thousand thousandth
19 nineteen nineteenth 1,500 one thousand five hundred, or fifteen hundred one thousand five hundredth
20 twenty twentieth
21 twenty-one twenty-first 100,000 one hundred thousand hundred thousandth
22 twenty-two twenty-second 1,000,000 one million millionth

§ There are twenty-five people in the room.
§ He was the fourteenth person to win the award.
§ Six hundred thousand people were left homeless after the earthquake.
§ I must have asked you twenty times to be quiet.
§ He went to Israel for the third time this year.

    Read decimals aloud in English by pronouncing the decimal point as "point", then read each digit individually. Money is not read this way.

Written Said Written Said
0.5 point five 0.05 point zero five
0.25 point two five 0.6529 point six five two nine
0.73 point seven three 2.95 two point nine five


    Read fractions using the cardinal number for the numerator and the ordinal number for the denominator, making the ordinal number plural if the numerator is larger than 1. This applies to all numbers except for the number 2, which is read "half" when it is the denominator, and "halves" if there is more than one.

Written Said Written Said
1/3 one third 1/2 one half
3/4 three fourths 3/2 three halves
5/6 five sixths    


    Percentages are easy to read aloud in English. Just say the number and then add the word "percent".

Written Pronounced Written Pronounced
5% five percent 100% one hundred percent
25% twenty-five percent 400% four hundred percent
36.25% thirty-six point two five percent    


   To read a sum of money, first read the whole number, then add the currency name. If there is a decimal, follow with the decimal pronounced as a whole number, and if coinage has a name in the currency, add that word at the end. Note that normal decimals are not read in this way. These rules only apply to currency.

Written Spoken Written Spoken
25$ twenty-five dollars €12.66 twelve euros sixty-six
52€ fifty-two euros ₤10.50 ten pounds fifty
140₤ one hundred and forty pounds  
$43.25 forty-three dollars and twenty-five cents
(shortened to "forty-three twenty-five" in everyday speech)


    Just read out the number, followed by the unit of measurement, which will often be abbreviated in the written form.

Written Spoken Written Spoken
60m sixty meters 2L two liters
25km/h twenty-five kilometers per hour 3tbsp three tablespoons
11ft eleven feet 1tsp one teaspoon


    Reading years in English is relatively complicated. In general, when the year is a four digit number, read the first two digits as a whole number, then the second two digits as another whole number. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Years that are within the first 100 years of a new millenium can be read as whole numbers even though they have four digits, or they can be read as two two-digit numbers. Millennia are always read as whole numbers because they would be difficult to pronounce otherwise. New centuries are read as whole numbers of hundreds. We do not use the word "thousand", at least not for reading years within the past 1000 years.
Years that have just three digits can be read as a three digit number, or as a one digit number followed by a two-digit number. Years that are a two digit number are read as a whole number. You can precede any year by the words "the year" to make your meaning clear, and this is common for two and three digit years. Years before the year 0 are followed by BC, pronounced as two letters of the alphabet.
Interestingly, these rules apply to reading street addresses as well.

Written Spoken Written Spoken
2017 twenty seventeen
or two thousand seventeen
866 eight hundred sixty-six
or eight sixty-six
2008 two thousand eight 1600 sixteen hundred
2000 two thousand 1256 twelve fifty-six
1944 nineteen forty-four 1006 ten o six
1908 nineteen o eight 25 twenty-five
1900 nineteen hundred 3000 BC three thousand BC
    3250 BC thirty two fifty BC

7.  HOW TO SAY 0

    There are several ways to pronounce the number 0, used in different contexts. Unfortunately, usage varies between different English-speaking countries. These pronunciations apply to American English.

Pronunciation Usage
zero Used to read the number by itself, in reading decimals, percentages, and phone numbers, and in some fixed expressions.
o (the letter name) Used to read years, addresses, times and temperatures
nil Used to report sports scores
nought Not used in the USA


Written Said
3.04+2.02=5.06 Three point zero four plus two point zero two makes five point zero six.
There is a 0% chance of rain. There is a zero percent chance of rain.
The temperature is -20⁰C. The temperature is twenty degrees below zero.
You can reach me at 0171 390 1062. You can reach me at zero one seven one, three nine zero, one zero six two
I live at 4604 Smith Street. I live at forty-six o four Smith Street
He became king in 1409. He became king in fourteen o nine.
I waited until 4:05. I waited until four o five.
The score was 4-0. The score was four nil.


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