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Discover how to count and read numbers in English. Delve into various types of numbers and explore basic math expressions in English.Numbers play a crucial role not only in the realm of mathematics but also in the English language, serving to quantify, measure, and convey numerical information. In our daily lives, we rely on numbers for various purposes, such as in calendars, to-do lists, recipes, and when denoting ages.

In this guide, we will explore numbers in English, their usage, and practical applications.

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Counting basics

The number sequence from 1 to 10

The basis of understanding numbers lies in counting. To begin, let’s go over the English spellings of numbers 1 to 10.

 

umbers English spelling Pronunciation 
1 One /wuhn/
2 Two /too/
3 Three /three/
4 Four /fohr/
5 Five /faɪv/
6 Six /sihks/
7 Seven /SEH-vihn/
8 Eight /ayt/
9 Nine /naɪn/
10 Ten /tehn/

Counting in multiples

In the field of mathematics, a multiple is the result obtained by multiplying one number by another. For instance, if you multiply 5 by 6, the product is 30. In this scenario, 30 is considered a multiple of both 5 and 6.

Other multiples of five are:
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, etc.

Other multiples of six are:
12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 43, etc.

Multiples of 10 are:
10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, etc.

Cardinal numbers

Understanding cardinal numbers and their usage

Cardinal numbers are commonly employed for counting and indicating quantities. They are frequently utilized for:

  • Give your age in years: “I’m 26 years old.”
  • Give your telephone number: “My phone number is five-five-five-six-four-three-two.”

When writing in English, it’s best to spell out cardinal numbers one to nine. For example:

  • “I have five siblings.”
  • “I bought four books for my brother.”

Meanwhile, the Chicago Manual of Style suggests using numerals to express large numbers (10 and above). For example:

  • “There are 11 students in the class.”
  • “About 101 people signed up for the training.”

Counting beyond 10: 

Numbers from 11 to 20 often have unique names and patterns. They are:

  • 11 – Eleven – /ih-LEV-uhn/
  • 12 – Twelve – /twehl-VE/
  • 13 – Thirteen – /thr-TEEN/
  • 14 – Fourteen – /fohr-TEEN/
  • 15 – Fifteen – /fihf-TEEN/
  • 16 – Sixteen – /siks-TEEN/
  • 17 – Seventeen – /seh-vihn-TEEN/
  • 18 – Eighteen – /ayt-TEEN/
  • 19 – Nineteen – /nain-TEEN/
  • 20 – Twenty – /TWEN-tee/
  • 21 – Twenty-one – /twehn-tee-WUHN/
  • 22 – Twenty-two – /twehn-tee-TOO/
  • 23 – Twenty-three – /twehn-tee-THREE/
  • 24 – Twenty-four – /twehn-tee-FOHR/
  • 25 – Twenty-five – /twehn-tee-FAIV/
  • 26 – Twenty-six – /twehn-tee-SIKS/
  • 27 – Twenty-seven – /twehn-tee-SEH-vihn/
  • 28 – Twenty-eight – /twehn-tee-AYT/
  • 29 – Twenty-nine – /twehn-tee-NAIN/
  • 30 – Thirty – /THR-tee/
  • 40 – Forty – /FOHR-tee/
  • 50 – Fifty – /FIF-tee/
  • 60 – Sixty – /SIKS-tee/
  • 70 – Seventy – /SEV-vihn/tee/
  • 80 – Eighty – /AY-tee/
  • 90 – Ninety – /NAIN-tee/
  • 100 – One hundred or hundred – /wuhn-HUN-druhd/

 

Counting in hundreds and thousands

Having learned how to count from one to 100 in English, let’s now delve into counting larger quantities in hundreds and thousands. Below is a compilation of numbers in hundreds and thousands, accompanied by their English spellings:

Hundreds English spelling Pronunciation 
100 One hundred /wuhn-HUN-druhd/
200 Two hundred /too-HUN-druhd/
300 Three hundred /three-HUN-druhd/
400 Four hundred /fohr-HUN-druhd/
500 Five hundred /faiv-HUN-druhd/
600 Six hundred /siks-HUN-druhd/
700 Seven hundred /seh-vihn-HUN-druhd/
800 Eight hundred /ayt-HUN-druhd/
900 Nine hundred /nain-HUN-druhd/

 

Thousands English spelling
1,000 One thousand /wuhn-THAU-zend/
2,000 Two thousand /too-THAU-zend/
3,000 Three thousand /three-THAU-zend/
4,000 Four thousand /fohr-THAU-zend/
5,000 Five thousand /faiv-THAU-zend/
6,000 Six thousand /siks-THAU-zend/
7,000 Seven thousand /seh-vinh-THAU-zend/
8,000 Eight thousand /ayt-THAU-zend/
9,000 Nine thousand /nain-THAU-zend/

Now, continuing with the pattern:

10,000 Ten thousand /tehn-THAU-zend/
11,000 Eleven thousand /ih-LEH-uhn-THAU-zend/
12,000 Twelve thousand /twehl-ve-THAU-zend/
13,000 Thirteen thousand /thr-teen-THAU-zend/
14,000 Fourteen thousand /fohr-teen-THAU-zend/
15,000 Fifteen thousand /fihf-teen-THAU-zend/
16,000 Sixteen thousand /siks-teen-THAU-zend/        
17,000 Seventeen thousand /seh-vihn-teen-THAU-zend/
18,000 Eighteen thousand /ayt-teen-THAU-zend/
19,000 Nineteen thousand /nain-teen-THAU-zend/
20,000 Twenty thousand /twen-tee-THAU-zend/
30,000 Thirty thousand /thr-tee-THAU-zend/
40,000 Forty thousand /fohr-tee-THAU-zend/
50,000 Fifty thousand /fif-tee-THAU-zend/
60,000 Sixty thousand /siks-tee-THAU-zend/
70,000 Seventy thousand /seh-vihn-tee-THAU-zend/
80,000 Eighty thousand /ayt-tee-THAU-zend/
90,000 Ninety thousand /nain-tee-THAU-zend/
100,000 One hundred thousand /wuhn-hun-druhd-THAU-zend/

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Ordinal numbers

Definition and usage of ordinal numbers

Ordinal numbers in English indicate order and rank. They are commonly formed by adding “th” at the end of a cardinal number. These numbers are employed when you wish to:

  • Give a date in the calendar: “My birthday is on the 26th of next month.”
  • Put things in order: “He is the fifth on the list.”
  • Refer to centuries: “The museum was established in the 18th century.”
  • Refer to a floor of a building: “My office is on the 10th floor.”

Forming ordinal numbers from cardinal numbers

As mentioned above, we form most ordinal numbers by adding the suffix “th” to cardinal numbers. Here is a list of ordinal numbers:

  • 1st – First
  • 2nd – Second
  • 3rd – Third
  • 4th – Fourth
  • 5th – Fifth
  • 6th – Sixth
  • 7th – Seventh
  • 8th – Eighth
  • 9th – Ninth
  • 10th – Tenth
  • 11th – Eleventh
  • 12th – Twelfth
  • 13th – Thirteenth
  • 14th – Fourteenth
  • 15th – Fifteenth
  • 16th – Sixteenth
  • 17th – Seventeenth
  • 18th – Eighteenth
  • 19th – Nineteenth
  • 20th – Twentieth
  • 21st – Twenty-first
  • 22nd – Twenty-second
  • 23rd – Twenty-third
  • 30th – Thirtieth
  • 40th – Fortieth
  • 50th – Fiftieth
  • 60th – Sixtieth
  • 70th – Seventieth
  • 80th – Eightieth
  • 90th – Ninetieth
  • 100th – Hundredth

When writing out large numbers in ordinals, we change the last numeral to an ordinal number. For example:

  • 104th – One hundred fourth
  • 287 – Two hundred eighty-seventh

Fractions and decimals

Introduction to fractions and decimals

Fractions and decimals enable accurate representation of values and proportions. These fundamental concepts depict portions of a whole or values between whole numbers, essentially representing fractional or decimal numbers.

Common fractions and their representation

Fractions are comprised of two components: a numerator and a denominator, separated by a slash (/). The numerator signifies the number of parts we possess, while the denominator indicates the total number of equal parts constituting the whole.

For instance, in the fraction 3/4, the numerator is three, signifying three parts, and the denominator is four, representing that the whole is divided into four equal parts.

Now, let’s examine common fractions and the correct way to express them in English:

Common fractions English name
1/2 One half
1/3 One third
1/4 One quarter
2/3 Two thirds
3/5 Three fifths

Note: When reading fractions, we use the cardinal number as the numerator and the ordinal number as the denominator.

Decimal numbers and their usage

Decimal numbers play a significant role in everyday life, particularly when it comes to money, measurements, and scientific calculations. Decimal numbers aren’t whole, and they have a decimal point (.) like in 0.002, 0.03, and 0.95.

Decimal numbers are pronounced by listing each digit. Examples are:

  • 0.1201: Zero point one two zero one, or point one two zero one
  • 7.5: Seven point five

For clarity, it is best to write decimal numbers as numerals. Let’s look at some examples:

  • “The tomatoes I bought weigh 74.5 grams.”

Large numbers

Considerable figures, such as millions, billions, and trillions, arise in diverse contexts, such as finance and economics, where they represent national debt, GDP, or corporate revenues. Additionally, in population statistics, they are employed to denote the number of individuals.

Large numbers are formed by adding specific suffixes to the base numbers. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Million (six zeros): 1,000,000 (one million)
  • Billion (nine zeros): 1,000,000,000 (one billion)
  • Trillion (12 zeros): 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion)
  • Quadrillion (15 zeros): 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillion)
  • Quintillion (18 zeros): 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one quintillion)

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144Mathematical expressions

The fundamental mathematical operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. We will delve into the definitions of these operations and their application in English.

Addition

Addition involves merging two or more numbers to determine their cumulative sum. In English, we denote addition using the term “plus” or the symbol “+”.

Examples:

  • 3 + 5 = 8
  • English expression: Three plus five equals eight.

 

  • 12 + 20 = 32
  • English expression: Twelve plus twenty equals thirty-two.

Subtraction

Subtraction is the process of finding the difference between two numbers. In English, we express subtraction using the word “minus” or the “-” symbol.

Examples:

  • 10 – 4 = 6
  • English expression: Ten minus four equals six.

 

  • 25 – 15 = 10
  • English expression: Twenty-five minus fifteen equals ten.

Multiplication

Multiplication is the process of repeated addition. In English, we express multiplication using the word “multiply” and “times” or the “×” symbol.

Examples:

  • 2 × 2 = 4
  • English expression: Two multiplied by three equals four.

 

  • 5 × 2 = 10
  • English expression: Five times four equals ten.

Division

Division is the act of distributing a quantity evenly into multiple parts. In English, we convey division using the word “divide” or the symbol “÷”.

Examples:

  • 12 ÷ 4 = 3
  • English expression: Twelve divided by three equals three.

 

  • 30 ÷ 6 = 5
  • English expression: Thirty divided by six equals five.

Conclusion

In summary, gaining proficiency in numbers in English is essential for successful communication and problem-solving, whether in routine daily exchanges or more intricate professional situations. The encouraging aspect is that you likely already know most of the rules outlined here, as numbers are a part of our everyday language. Therefore, by engaging in regular practice and immersing yourself in the realm of numbers, you can leverage the power of mathematics in your daily life.

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Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.