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10 Sep
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NUMBERS AND TIME

numbers and time

 

 

 

 

You may not have any problems with saying small numbers but what about the large ones? Are you comfortable saying or writing them in English? Here are some hints in writing large numbers.

In writing large numbers, American English uses a comma (, ) to separate thousands, millions, etc.

American English also uses a hyphen ( - ) to separate "tens" words (twenty, fifty, etc.) and "ones" words (one, three, six, etc.)

Examples: (with thousand)

Written: 1,017…..Said: one thousand seventeen

Written: 31,017….Said: thirty-one thousand seventeen

Written: 631,017….Said: six hundred thirty-one thousand seventeen

Examples: (with million)

Written: 1,245,378….Said: one million two hundred forty-five thousand three hundred seventy-eight

Written: 16,245,378…Said: sixteen million two hundred forty-five thousand three hundred seventy-eight

Written: 164,245,378….Said: one hundred sixty-four two hundred forty-five thousand three hundred seventy-eight

Example: (with billion)

Written: 1,492,638,526….Said: one billion four hundred ninety-two million six hundred thirty-eight thousand five hundred twenty-six

Written: 21,492,638,526…Said: twenty-one billion four hundred ninety-two million six hundred thirty-eight thousand five hundred twenty-six

Written: 921,492,638,526….Said: nine hundred twenty-one billion four hundred ninety-two million six hundred thirty-eight thousand five hundred twenty-six

 

Notes:

In American English, the order of large numbers is thousand, million, billion, trillion, etc. (1,000; 1,000,000; 1,000,000,000; 1,000,000,000,000; etc.)

In American English, a thousand million is a billion, but in British English, a thousand million is a milliard.

When saying large numbers, do not make thousand, million, billion, trillion, etc. plural.

Not this: *twenty thousands dollars 

In American English, use commas to separate thousands, millions, etc. 1,234…. NOT 1.234

People often say "a" instead of "one" before hundred, thousand, etc. and they often add "and" before the last number:

a hundred and twenty-one

a thousand and eleven / etc.

 

Now that you know about numbers it’s not a bad idea to know about time too.

The phrase "o'clock" comes from the meaning ‘of the clock’ and is used when you are referencing time on the hour. It works for every hour on the clock, am and pm, but cannot be used when including minutes.

When you are referring to the exact time, there are two ways in which you can do this:

Say the hour first followed by the minutes:

7:20 – it’s seven twenty

Say the minutes first followed by the hour:

4:35 – it’s twenty-five to five

 

There are other terms like a quarter ( to or past ) and a half ( past ) but nowadays people prefer to tell the time in digital format.

Example:

4:35 – it’s four thirty-five   NOT twenty-five to five

Asking for the time:

There are several ways of asking the time, here are how you can ask.

What time is it?

What is the time?

Could you tell me the time, please?

Do you have the time?

 

To feel confident talking about the time in English practice saying that with your friends.

 


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