1. Member
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Nov 2011
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million, milliard, billion

What is a number equal to a thousand millions called?
What is a number equal to a million millions called?

2. Re: million, milliard, billion

Let me try the first: 1,000,000,000 = billion

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NOT A TEACHER

Jenny

3. Senior Member
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Jan 2012
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902

Re: million, milliard, billion

[AmE - Not a teacher]

Depends on if you're using long or short scale. In AmE, we say a thousand million is a billion. A million million is a trillion.

(and BTW, we don't pluralize the second million.)

4. Re: million, milliard, billion

Originally Posted by JarekSteliga
What is a number equal to a thousand millions called? In Am E, a billion.
What is a number equal to a million millions called? In BrE, a billion.
The same applies to 'trillion': a million billion in Am E, a billion billion in Br E.
However, the Br Eng usage is dying out, and in an economics or statistical context most Br Eng users understand 'a billion' to mean 'an American "billion"'. And of course when an economist talks about 'a GDP of a trillion dollars' it's obviously an American trillion.

In many other contexts, it doesn't matter. When Carl Sagan (RIP) said 'billions and billioms of stars' nobody was likely to ask 'Hang on, precisely how may zeroes do you mean?'

b

5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Re: million, milliard, billion

In BrE, it's billion and trillion too. I'd go further than Bob and say that the British usage is dead- the only time I see it is in discussions about whether it exists. I never hear the term milliard used except in threads like this.

I'd say:

What is a number equal to a thousand millions called? A billion

What is a number equal to a million millions called? A trillion

To get any other realistic BrE options, you'd need to go back in time. Most BrE speakers nowadays are unaware that there once existed a different system.

6. Junior Member
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Re: million, milliard, billion

Not a teacher.

Originally Posted by BobK
The same applies to 'trillion': a million billion in Am E, a billion billion in Br E.
A trillion is a thousand billion in AE. A million billion is a quadrillion.

A billion billion is a quadrillion on the long scale.

7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Re: million, milliard, billion

My advice is to use the short scale- it's the scale in common use. If you work/study in an area where the long scale is used, they will tell you.

8. Re: million, milliard, billion

Originally Posted by Tdol
In BrE, it's billion and trillion too. I'd go further than Bob and say that the British usage is dead- the only time I see it is in discussions about whether it exists. I never hear the term milliard used except in threads like this....
You're probably right. There are a few stick-in-the-muds.

b

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