Expressing numbers in English can be confusing to both students and those listening. Make sure you understand how to express numbers in spoken English by following these rules.

Below you will find numbers written out in order to helps students learn the correct grouping in English. Generally speaking, numbers larger than twenty should always be expressed by numbers in written English:

*I have fifteen clients in New York.She has 240 contacts on her mailing list.*

Tens

Say individual numbers between one and twenty. After that, use the tens (twenty, thirty, etc.) followed by the numbers one through nine:

*7 - seven19 - nineteen32 - thirty-two89 - eighty-nine*

When expressing large numbers (more than one hundred) read in groups of hundreds. The order is as follows: billion, million, thousand, hundred. Notice that hundred, thousand, etc. is NOT followed by an "s:"

*Two hundred NOT two hundreds*

### Hundreds

Say numbers in the hundreds by beginning with numerals one through nine followed by "hundred". Finish by saying the last two digits:

*350 – three hundred fifty425 – four hundred twenty-five873 - eight hundred seventy-three112 - one hundred twelve*

NOTE: British English takes "and" following "hundred." American English omits "and:"

Thousands

The next group is the thousands. Say a number up to 999 followed by "thousand." Finish by reading the hundreds when applicable:

*15,560 – fifteen thousand five hundred sixty786,450 – seven hundred six thousand four hundred fifty342,713 - three hundred forty-two thousand seven hundred thirteen569,045 - five hundred sixty-nine thousand forty-five*

### 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 thousand27,805,234 - twenty seven million eight hundred five thousands two hundred thirty-four934,700,000 – nine hundred thirty-four million seven hundred thousand589,432,420 - 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 thousand12,600,450,345,000 - 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.

Decimals

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

*2.36 - two point three six14.82 - fourteen point eight two9.7841 -nine point seven eight four one3.14159 - three point one four one five nine (that's Pi!)*

### Percentages

Speak percentages as the number followed by "percent:"

*37% - thirty-seven percent12% - twelve percent87% - eighty-seven percent3% - three percent*

### Fractions

Speak the top number as a cardinal number, followed by the ordinal number + "s:"

*3/8 - three-eighths5/16 - five-sixteenths7/8 - seven-eighths1/32 - one thirty-second*

Exceptions to this rule are:

*1/4, 3/4 - one-quarter, three quarters1/3, 2/3 - one third, two-thirds1/2 - 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-eighths23 1/2 - twenty-three and one-half*

### Important Numerical Expressions

Here are the descriptive names of a number of important numerical expressions:

*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 number *- 0171 895 7056

Read telephone numbers in individual numbers: *zero one seven one eight nine five seven zero five six*

*Dates* - 12/04/65

read dates month, day, year

*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*

*Price* - $60

Read the currency first then the number: *Sixty dollars*

Express dollars by stating the dollar amount followed by cents:

$43.35 - forty-three dollars thirty-five cents

$120.50 - one hundred twenty dollars fifty cents

Native speakers often just say first the dollar number and then the cents number and drop "dollars" and "cents"

*35.80 - thirty-five eighty175.50 - one hundred seventy-five fifty*

*Score *- 2-1

Read scores as "number + to + number": *Two to one *

### Ordinal Numbers

Ordinal numbers are used when speaking about the day of the month, or the position in a group. Most numbers end in 'th', except "first", "second", and "third" of every ten numbers:

2nd - second

3rd - third

5th - fifth

17th - seventeenth

8th - eighth

21 - twenty-first

46 - forty-sixth