**How to Say and Use Numbers Correctly in English**

Hey, guys! Want to know how to say and use numbers correctly in English? Numbers such as ** one, five, eleven, two hundred **are cardinal numbers. We most commonly use cardinal numbers as determiners (before nouns). When we use them in this way, we can use other determiners such as articles (

*a/an*,

*the*) and possessives (

*my*,

*your*) in front of them. We can use cardinal numbers +

*of*before determiners (

*one of my friends*):

She loves animals and hastwodogs,threecats andonerabbit.

Mytwobest friends are Amy and Louise.

(sacked = lost their jobs)Threeof his colleagues were sacked yesterday.

We also use cardinal numbers as nouns:

The children arrived intwosandthrees.

### Large numbers

We normally say *a hundred, a thousand, a million*. We only say *one hundred, one thousand* and *one million* when we want to emphasise the number:

What would you do if you won(preferred toamillioneuros?one million euros)

The city is abouta hundredkilometres from the capital.

Numbers such as *100, 200, 1,000*, etc. do not take a plural –*s* when we use them as determiners:

There were about twohundredpeople at the meeting.

Not:

~~There were about two hundreds people~~…

However, we use the plural forms *hundreds*, *thousands*, *millions* + *of* + noun to refer to large, non-specific numbers:

It’s happenedhundredsoftimes.

Millionsofpeople live in poverty.

## How to Say Numbers in the Millions

For millions, say a number up to 999 followed by “million.” Finish by saying first the thousands and then the hundreds when applicable:

- 2,450,000 – two million four hundred fifty thousand
- 27,805,234 – twenty-seven million eight hundred five thousands two hundred thirty-four
- 934,700,000 – nine hundred thirty-four million seven hundred thousand
- 589,432,420 – five hundred eighty-nine million four hundred thirty-two thousand four hundred twenty

For even larger numbers, first use billions and then trillions in a similar manner to millions:

- 23,870,550,000 – twenty-three billion eight hundred seventy million five hundred fifty thousand
- 12,600,450,345,000 – twelve trillion six hundred billion four hundred fifty million three hundred forty-five thousand

Large numbers are often rounded to the next biggest or next smallest number to make things easier. For example, 345,987,650 is rounded to 350,000,000.

## How to Say Numbers With Decimals

Speak decimals as the number followed by “point.” Next, say each number beyond the point individually:

- 2.36 – two point three six
- 14.82 – fourteen point eight two
- 9.7841 -nine point seven eight four one
- 3.14159 – three point one four one five nine (that’s Pi!)

## How to Say Percentages

Say percentages as the number followed by “percent:”

*37% – thirty-seven percent**12% – twelve percent**87% – eighty-seven percent**3% – three percent*

## How to Talk About Fractions

Say the top number as a cardinal number, followed by the ordinal number + “s:”

- 3/8 – three-eighths
- 5/16 – five-sixteenths
- 7/8 – seven-eighths
- 1/32 – one thirty-second

Exceptions to this rule are:

- 1/4, 3/4 – one-quarter, three quarters
- 1/3, 2/3 – one third, two-thirds
- 1/2 – one-half

Read numbers together with fractions by first stating the number followed by “and” and then the fraction:

- 4 7/8 – four and seven-eighths
- 23 1/2 – twenty-three and one-half

## Important Numerical Expressions

Here is how to say a number of important numerical expressions in English.

**Speed:**100 mph (miles per hour). Read speed as numbers:*One hundred miles per hour***Weight:**42 lb. (pounds). Read weight as numbers:*forty-two pounds***Telephone numbers:**212-555-1212. Read telephone numbers in individual numbers:*two one two five five five one two one two***Dates**12/04/65. Read dates month, day, year in the U.S.*:***Temperature:**72° F (Fahrenheit). Read temperature as “degrees +number”:*seventy-two degrees Fahrenheit***Height**–*6’2”.*Read height in feet and then inches:*six feet two inches***Score**– 2-1. Read scores as “number + to + number”:*Two to one*

Hope now you can express with confidence when taking about numbers! Go on learning about the Use of English and about passing your First Certificate Exam with flying colors!

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