Numbers in English – Liceo Bicentenario

NumberCardinalOrdinal
1onefirst
2twosecond
3threethird
4fourfourth
5fivefifth
6sixsixth
7sevenseventh
8eighteighth
9nineninth
10tententh
11eleveneleventh
12twelvetwelfth
13thirteenthirteenth
14fourteenfourteenth
15fifteenfifteenth
16sixteensixteenth
17seventeenseventeenth
18eighteeneighteenth
19nineteennineteenth
20twentytwentieth
21twenty-onetwenty-first
22twenty-twotwenty-second
23twenty-threetwenty-third
24twenty-fourtwenty-fourth
25twenty-fivetwenty-fifth
26twenty-sixtwenty-sixth
27twenty-seventwenty-seventh
28twenty-eighttwenty-eighth
29twenty-ninetwenty-ninth
30thirtythirtieth
31thirty-onethirty-first
40fortyfortieth
50fiftyfiftieth
60sixtysixtieth
70seventyseventieth
80eightyeightieth
90ninetyninetieth
100one hundredhundredth
500five hundredfive hundredth
1,000one thousandthousandth
1,500one thousand five hundred, or fifteen hundredone thousand five hundredth
100,000one hundred thousandhundred thousandth
1,000,000one millionmillionth
Examples
  • There are twenty-five people in the room.
  • He was the fourteenth person to win the award.
  • Six hundred thousand people were left homeless after the earthquake.
  • I must have asked you twenty times to be quiet.
  • He went to Israel for the third time this year.

Reading decimals

Read decimals aloud in English by pronouncing the decimal point as «point», then read each digit individually. Money is not read this way.

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

Reading fractions

Read fractions using the cardinal number for the numerator and the ordinal number for the denominator, making the ordinal number plural if the numerator is larger than 1. This applies to all numbers except for the number 2, which is read «half» when it is the denominator, and «halves» if there is more than one.

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

Pronouncing percentages

Percentages are easy to read aloud in English. Just say the number and then add the word «percent».

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

Reading sums of money

To read a sum of money, first read the whole number, then add the currency name. If there is a decimal, follow with the decimal pronounced as a whole number, and if coinage has a name in the currency, add that word at the end. Note that normal decimals are not read in this way. These rules only apply to currency.

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

Pronouncing measurements

Just read out the number, followed by the unit of measurement, which will often be abbreviated in the written form.

WrittenSpoken
60msixty meters
25km/htwenty-five kilometers per hour
11fteleven feet
2Ltwo liters
3tbspthree tablespoons
1tspone teaspoon

Pronouncing years

Reading years in English is relatively complicated. In general, when the year is a four digit number, read the first two digits as a whole number, then the second two digits as another whole number. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Years that are within the first 100 years of a new millenium can be read as whole numbers even though they have four digits, or they can be read as two two-digit numbers. Millennia are always read as whole numbers because they would be difficult to pronounce otherwise. New centuries are read as whole numbers of hundreds. We do not use the word «thousand», at least not for reading years within the past 1000 years.

Years that have just three digits can be read as a three digit number, or as a one digit number followed by a two-digit number. Years that are a two digit number are read as a whole number. You can precede any year by the words «the year» to make your meaning clear, and this is common for two and three digit years. Years before the year 0 are followed by BC, pronounced as two letters of the alphabet.

Interestingly, these rules apply to reading street addresses as well.

WrittenSpoken
2014twenty fourteen or two thousand fourteen
2008two thousand eight
2000two thousand
1944nineteen forty-four
1908nineteen o eight
1900nineteen hundred
1600sixteen hundred
1256twelve fifty-six
1006ten o six
866eight hundred sixty-six or eight sixty-six
25twenty-five
3000 BCthree thousand BC
3250 BCthirty two fifty BC

How to say 0

There are several ways to pronounce the number 0, used in different contexts. Unfortunately, usage varies between different English-speaking countries. These pronunciations apply to American English.

PronunciationUsage
zeroUsed to read the number by itself, in reading decimals, percentages, and phone numbers, and in some fixed expressions.
o (the letter name)Used to read years, addresses, times and temperatures
nilUsed to report sports scores
noughtNot used in the USA
Examples
WrittenSaid
3.04+2.02=5.06Three point zero four plus two point zero two makes five point zero six.
There is a 0% chance of rain.There is a zero percent chance of rain.
The temperature is -20⁰C.The temperature is twenty degrees below zero.
You can reach me at 0171 390 1062.You can reach me at zero one seven one, three nine zero, one zero six two
I live at 4604 Smith Street.I live at forty-six o four Smith Street
He became king in 1409.He became king in fourteen o nine.
I waited until 4:05.I waited until four o five.
The score was 4-0.The score was four nil.
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