# Numbers & counting in English

## Forming
and expressing
numbers - written and oral

Index : | Numbers - cardinals | Numbers - ordinals | Fractions and decimals |

### 1. Cardinal numbers

Cardinal numbers are the numbers that we use for counting or designating quantity : English-speakers use them every day - one two three four etc. In terms of grammar, they belong to the category of determining adjectives.

### From 0 to 100 - From zero to a hundred

The number 0 is variously expressed as nought (in British English) or zero (in all forms of English) : in the middle of a series of digits, it may also be pronounced "oh". Everyone has heard of James Bond, also known as 007. That is pronounced "oh-oh-seven" or "double-oh-seven", but never "nought-nought-seven" nor "zero-zero-seven".

Here are the important cardinal numbers between one and a hundred, which can serve as models for other numbers.

1 | one | 11 | eleven | 21 | twenty-one |

2 | two | 12 | twelve | 22 | twenty-two |

3 | three | 13 | thirteen | 30 | thirty |

4 | four | 14 | fourteen | 40 | forty |

5 | five | 15 | fifteen | 50 | fifty |

6 | six | 16 | sixteen | 60 | sixty |

7 | seven | 17 | seventeen | 70 | seventy |

8 | eight | 18 | eighteen | 80 | eighty |

9 | nine | 19 | nineteen | 90 | ninety |

10 | ten | 20 | twenty | 100 | a hundred |

Watch out for spelling: fourteen but forty.

### Numbers from 101 to 999 - three-digit numbers

In the USA, the word and is normally omitted.

A hyphen (-) is normally used in numbers between 21 and 99, whether these stand alone or are part of a larger number.

From these examples, all other three-digit numbers in English can be formed.

101 | a hundred and one | 365 | three hundred and sixty-five |

111 | a hundred and eleven | 480 | four hundred and eighty |

121 | a hundred and twenty-one | 545 | five hundred and forty-five |

133 | a hundred and thirty-three | 644 | six hundred and forty-four |

257 | two hundred and fifty-seven | 799 | seven hundred and ninety-nine |

#### Notes :

The word "hundred" , except as a round number (a number ending in 00), is always followed by "and", both in spoken English and in written English when numbers are written out as words.

The word hundred never takes an "s" as part of a cardinal number.For numbers between 100 and 199, one normally says "a hundred" and not "one hundred".

The expression "one hundred" is used only to put emphasis on the figure one (i.e. one, not two nor three), or to stress the word.

I counted one hundred and twenty planes (and not 220 nor 320)

#### Hundreds in the plural

The words hundred, thousand and million never take an s in the plural as cardinal numbers (which are a form of adjective).They only take an s when used as nouns designating an imprecise quantity of hundreds or thousands, etc., followed by of ...

Examples

Thousands of people crammed into the stadium

### Numbers from 1000 to 1,000,000

- Apart from round numbers (numbers ending in 00) numbers above 1000 are normally written in figures, not in words. They are written in words here as a means to show how they are used in spoken English.

1000 | a thousand | 4656 | four thousand six hundred and fifty-six |

1001 | a thousand and one | 10,000 | ten thousand |

1086 | one thousand and eighty-six | 10,148 | ten thousand one hundred and forty-eight |

1147 | one thousand one hundred and forty-seven | 65,423 | sixty-five thousand four hundred and twenty-three |

1201 | one thousand two hundred and one | 100,000 | A hundred thousand |

3600 | three thousand six hundred | 699,482 | Six hundred and ninety-nine thousand four hundred and eighty-two |

### Notes

In the USA, the word and is usually omitted.

- After 1000, if the word "hundred" does not occur in the number, it is the word thousand which is followed by and.
- Apart from round numbers (1000, 7000 etc) there will always be an and somewhere in the number.

(or in US English : One thousand eighteen)

43,003 = forty-three thousand and three

56,100 = fifty-six thousand one hundred

25,864 = Twenty-five thousand eight hundred and sixty-four

- In numbers from 1100 to 1199, the single hundred will be pronounced one and not a.
- Four-digit numbers below 2000 (and rarely above) may sometimes also be expressed starting with "eleven hundred", "twelve hundred", etc.

1100 =

**One**thousand

**one hundred**or Eleven hundred

22,100 = twenty-two thousand one hundred.

654,122 = Six hundred and fifty-four thousand, one hundred and twenty-two

- The word hundred is always followed by "and" once it is followed by another digit, and even if it occurs more than once in the number.
- As cardinal numbers, neither hundred nor thousand ever take a plural "s". (More)
- Whether writing in figures or in words, whith numbers of more than than four digits it is normal to put a comma every three digits.The comma is optional with four-digit numbers.

44,399 Forty-four thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine

637,316 = Six hundred and thirty-seven thousand, three hundred and sixteen.

### Numbers greater than a million

The same principles apply.The number simply starts with a quantity of millions, for example

One million...

or Twenty-five million...

or

*Eight hundred and twenty million...*

*Two billion*

1,002,018 = One million two thousand and eighteen

1,001,116 = One million one thousand one hundred and sixteen.

736,654,121 = Seven hundred and thirty-six million, six hundred and fifty-four thousand, one hundred and twenty-one

### Other points to remember:

Figures can be expressed differently when they refer to dates and telephone numbers, or when they are after a decimal point.Index : | Numbers - cardinals | Numbers - ordinals | Fractions and decimals |