numbers

  • Fractions
      We say fractions like this:
      1/8 one eighth , 3/7 three sevenths
      2/5 two fifths, 11/16 eleven sixteenths
      We normally use a singular verb after fractions below 1.
      Three quarters of a ton is too much.
      We use a plural noun with fractions and decimals over 1.
  • Decimals
      We say decimal fractions like this:
      O’125 nought point one two five (NOT 0,125—nought comma one two five)
      3.7 three point seven
  • nought, zero, nil etc
      The figure 0 is usually called nought in British English, and zero in American English.
      When we say numbers one figure at a time, 0 is often called oh (like the letter 0).
      My account number is four one three oh six.
      In measurements of temperature, 0 is called zero.
      Zero degrees Centigrade is thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit.
      Zero scores in team games are called nil (American zero).
      Zero in tennis and similar games is called love.
  • Telephone numbers
      We say each figure separately. When the same figure comes twice, we usually say double (British English only).
      307 4922 three oh seven four nine double two.
  • Kings and Queens
      We say the numbers like this:
      Henry the i Louis the Fourteenth
      Henry VIII Louis XIV
  • Floors
      The ground floor of a British house is the first floor of an American house; the British first floor is the American second floor, etc.

    GB
    second floor first floor ground floor

    y
    IBM ip =i
    p| jo

    US
    third floor second floor first floor

  • and
      In British English, we use and between the hundreds and the tens in a number.
      310 three hundred and ten (US three hundred ten)
      5,642 five thousand, six hundred and forty-two
      Note that in writing we use commas (,) to separate thousands.
  • a and one
    We can say a hundred or one hundred, a thousand or one thousand. One is more formal.
      I want to live for a hundred years.
      Pay Mr J Baron one thousand pounds, (on a cheque)
      We only use a at the beginning of a number. Compare: a hundred three thousand one hundred We can use a with other measurement words. a pint a foot a mile.
  • Plurals without-s
    After a number or determiner, hundred, thousand, million and dozen have no final -s. Compare:
      five hundred pounds hundreds of pounds
      several thousand times It cost thousands
      Other number expressions have no -s when they are used as adjectives.
      a five-pound note a three-mile walk
  • Measurements
      We use be in measurements.
      She’s five feet eight (inches tall).
      I’m sixty-eight kilos.
      What shoe size are you?
      In an informal style, we often use foot instead of feefwhen we talk about people’s heights.
      My father’s six foot two.
  • Money
      1p one penny (informal: one p /pi:/) or a penny 5p five pence (informal: five p)
      £3.75 three pounds seventy-five When we use sums of money as adjectives, we use singular forms. a five pound note (NOT a five-pounds note)
  • Adjectives
    When expressions of measurement, amount and quantity are used as adjectives, they are normally singular.
      a ten-mile walk (HOT a ten-miles walk)
      six two-hour lessons
      a three-month-old baby
      We can use possessives in expressions of time.
      a week’s holiday four days ‘ journey
  • there are . ..
    When we count the number of people in a group, we often use the structure there are + number + of+ pronoun.
      There are only seven of us here today.
      There were twelve of us in my family.
  • Spoken calculations
    Common ways of calculating are:
      2 + 2 = 4 two and two is/are four (informal)
      two plus two equals four (formal)
      7-4 = 3 four from seven is three (informal)
      seven minus four equals three (formal)
      3 x 4 = 12
      three fours are twelve (informal)
      three multiplied by four equals twelve (formal)
      9 / 3 = 3
      nine divided by three equals three