NUMBERS – many students are confident speakers of English, yet when it comes to reading numbers out loud they stop, panic, stutter and nothing comes out. So instead of practising these unseemingly complicated digits, they shy away from them and never become confident in saying numbers.
Yet in reality numbers are not at all complicated if you know the rules.
Numbers are everywhere and form an important part of language speaking whether you are a tourist or a businessman.
Numbers come in all kinds of formats: they can represent a statistic, a price, a date, a year, a time, a temperature… just to name a few.
So let’s have a look at how to say numbers:
Presuming everyone knows the basics of numbers from 1 – 100…
unless we are referring to the years between 2000 – 2009
only since the turn of the century in American English it is acceptable to continue this system referring to the year as
Let’s analyse how to say longer numbers easily: 9, 876, 543
- to practise and gain confidence start from the end:
43 – forty three
543 – five hundred and fortythree
and- it’s important to always say the AND after the word hundred even if we usually abbreviate it with ‘n )
6, 543 – six thousand, five hundred ‘n fortythree
76, 543 – seventysix thousand, five hundred ‘n fortythree
876, 543 – eight hundred ‘n seventysix thousand, five hundred ‘n fortythree
9, 876, 543 – nine million, eight hundred ‘n seventysix thousand, five hundred ‘n fortythree
as you can see, it’s really easy and only a question of practice. I recommend reading any numbers you see around you – the number of the car in front of you at the traffic light, street numbers and many more surrounding you in daily life… always start from the end until you become confident.
Gain confidence with numbers - the more you practice the easier it gets!
You can download this document for easy reference.
Hopefully this will have clarified numbers for you.
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My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.