This article is all about NUMBERS. It focuses on how we say numbers written as figures. Learning this will help you in the listening test where you will hear these numbers spoken. It will also help you if you need to use numbers during the speaking test.
Numbers from Zero to One Hundred
We say the specific individual numbers between zero and twenty. After twenty, use the tens (twenty, thirty,
etc.) and the numbers one to nine:
0 – zero or “oh”
8 – eight
18 – eighteen
38 – thirty-eight
58 – fifty-eight
Numbers from One Hundred to One Thousand
We begin with numbers one to nine with the word “hundred” then we say the last two numbers as above.
118 – one hundred and eighteen
238 – two hundred and thirty-eight
688 – six hundred and eighty-eight
808 – eight hundred and eight
NOTE: British English uses “and” after “hundred” as above. American English does not use “and:”
118 = one hundred eighteen
Numbers in the thousands
We say a number from 1-999 with the word “thousand”, then we say the hundreds as above.
11 111 – eleven thousand one hundred and eleven
28 838 – twenty eight thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight
338 452 – three hundred and thirty-eight thousand four hundred and fifty-two
918 747 – nine hundred and eighteen seven hundred and forty-seven
Numbers in the Millions
We say a number up to 999 followed by “million”, then we say the thousands and the hundreds as above.
3 550 000 – three million five hundred and fifty thousand
48 956 781 – forty eight million nine hundred and fifty six thousand seven hundred and eight one
709 652 710 – seven hundred and nine million six hundred and fifty two thousand seven hundred and ten.
For even larger numbers, first, use billions and then trillions in a similar manner to
We do not say “s” after the word million and we do not usually use an “s” when talking about numbers. If we want to talk numbers without giving a precise figure we do use “s”.
There were hundreds and hundreds of people
Thousands of animals were killed.
With large numbers say them in groups of hundreds. This is the order: billion, million, thousand, hundred.
Numbers with Decimals
We say the number, the word point and then the individual numbers
1.11 – one point one one
15.29 – fifteen point two nine
11.2589 – eleven point two five eight nine
Numbers with Percentages
We say the number then the word “percent”.
18% – eighteen percent
67% – sixty seven percent
92% – ninety two percent
Numbers with Fractions
We say the top number as normal and the bottom number as an ordinal number (with an “s” if the top number is higher than one)
2/5 – two-fifths
5/6 – five-sixths
5/8 – five-eighths
With the more common fractions, we say them differently
1/4, 3/4 – one/a -quarter, three quarters
1/2 – (one/a) half
1/3, 2/3 – one/a third, two-thirds
With numbers with fractions, we say the number first then “and” then the fraction
6 7/8 – six and seven-eighths
33 1/3 – thirty three and one/a third.
8 1/2 – eight and one/a half.
We say the number first then the currency:
£50 – Fifty pounds
£3.50 – Three pounds Fifty pence
£99.99 – Ninety- Nine pounds Ninety-nine pence
We often only say the numbers or only say the main currency word
£9.50 – Nine fifty or Nine pounds fifty
€11.45 Eleven forty-five or Eleven Euro(s) forty-five.
With the Euro currency is acceptable NOT to use the S
With large amounts of money, we follow the same formula and do NOT use “of”
£15 000 000 – Fifteen million pounds.
We use Ordinal numbers to talk about the day of the month or a position in a group. Most numbers end in ‘th’, except “first”, “second”, and “third” of every ten numbers:
1000th one thousandth
18.07.2019 – The Eighteenth of July Two thousand (and) Nineteen
Other ways we use and say numbers
Telephone numbers: We say the individual numbers
020 7242 9788 – zero two zero seven two four two nine seven double eight (or eight eight)
Speed: We say speeds as numbers
70 mph – Seventy miles per hour
130 kph One hundred and thirty kilometres per hour
Weight: We say the number and then the unit
38 kgs – thirty-eight kilograms
83 lbs – eighty-three pounds
Temperature: We say the number + degrees then the unit if necessary
32°C – thirty-two degrees (Celsius)
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