- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- We say the numbers like this:
Henry the i Louis the Fourteenth
Henry VIII Louis XIV
- 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.
second floor first floor ground floor
third floor second floor first floor
- 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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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)
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
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.
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