Vocabulary: Number in English

Expressing numbers in English can be confusing to ESL students...


1.  Cardinals:

The cardinal numbers (one, two, three, etc.) are adjectives referring to quantity, and the ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) refer to distribution.

Examples:

  • There are only twelve students in the class.
  • He was the fifth person to win the award
  • Six hundred thousand people were left homeless after the earthquake.
  • I must have asked you thousand times to be quiet.
  • I went to Paris for the third time this year.

2. Reading Decimals:

  • 0.5 - point five
  • 0.25 - point two five
  • 0.73 - point seven three
  • 0.05 - point zero five
  • 0.6529 - point six five two nine
  • 2.95 - two point nine five

3. Reading Fractions:

  • 1/3 - one third
  • 3/4 - three fourths
  • 5/6 - five sixths
  • 1/2 - one half
  • 3/2 - three halves

4. Pronouncing Percentages

  • 5% - five percent
  • 25% - twenty-five percent
  • 36.25% - thirty-six point two five percent
  • 100% - one hundred percent
  • 400% - four hundred percent

5. Reading Sum of Money

  • 25$ - twenty-five dollars
  • 52€ - fifty-two euros
  • 140₤ - one hundred and forty pounds
  • $43.25 - forty-three dollars and twenty-five cents (shortened to "forty-three twenty-five" in everyday speech)
  • €12.66 - twelve euros sixty-six
  • ₤10.50 - ten pounds fifty

6.  Pronouncing Years

  • 2017 - twenty seventeen or two thousand seventeen
  • 2008 - two thousand eight
  • 2000 - two thousand
  • 1944 - nineteen forty-four
  • 1908 - nineteen o eight
  • 1900 - nineteen hundred
  • 1600 - sixteen hundred
  • 1256 - twelve fifty-six
  • 1006 - ten o six
  • 866 - eight hundred sixty-six or eight sixty-six
  • ...


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Vocabulary: Number in English

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