Learning the numbers in English is done fairly early on. Counting up to a hundred is fairly simple even if you haven’t been learning English for a long time. It get’s a little more difficult however when we go higher. Let’s have a recap of the bigger numbers as well as clarifying a few things.
In British English, whenever there is a number after a hundred, we have to join it with ‘and‘. You will often hear natives shorten this to an ‘n‘ sound.
805 = eight hundred and five
🇺🇸 In American English the ‘and’ is often dropped. (e.g “nine hundred ninety nine” not “nine hundred and ninety nine”). This depends on where (and whom) you speak to though. Here is a table showing where the ‘and’ is placed in different numbers up to the thousands range:
When we read decimal points in english (e.g 57.88) we read the number before the decimal point as a regular number. After the decimal point though we read each digit individually.
78.50 = seventy eight point five zero
Here are some examples showing how to read a few more decimal numbers:
|number||before decimal point||decimal point||after decimal point|
|20.350||twenty||point||three five zero|
|30.006||thirty||point||zero zero six|
When we read telephone numbers we often read out each digit individually.
07521 891532 = zero seven five two one eight nine one five three two
In British English we can also use the words ‘double‘ (for groups of two), or ‘triple‘ for groups of three). This however isn’t used in American English.
07771 556672 = zero triple seven one double five double six seven two
The names of numbers change slightly when we talk about dates. Instead of one, two, three etc we have the first, second and third. After the third we add ‘th’ to the end of a number, the spelling does however change ever so slightly with some. After we get past the twentieth the pattern repeats (e.g twenty first, twenty second etc).
Also sometimes when written down we will see dates such as ‘5 December’, ‘2 June’, ‘3 August’. When reading these out we will need to add a few extra words (‘the‘ & ‘of‘) and change the reading of the number.
5 December = the fifth of December
2 June = the second of June
3 August = the third of August
There are other symbols that you will find around numbers, particularly in maths / statistics.
‘-‘ = minus/ negative
e.g ‘-50’ = minus fifty
‘%’ = percent
e.g ‘80%’ = eighty percent
‘+’ = plus
e.g ‘2 + 2’ = two plus two
‘x’ = times
e.g ‘5x’ = five times
‘=’ = equals
e.g ‘3 + 3 = 6’ = three plus three equals six
Now try the quiz: