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.



Ordinal Numbers

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:

1st          first

2nd        second

3rd         third

5th         fifth

8th         eighth

17th       seventeenth

21st        twenty-first

46th       forty-sixth

100th     one-hundredth

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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