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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    800 = eight hundred or eight double oh?

    Hi,

    http://www.eslcafe.com/grammar/sayin...e_numbers.html

    written: 1-800-555-1212
    said: one, eight hundred, five - five - five, one - two - one - two.

    I'd like to ask why '800' is said as 'eight hundred' but not 'eight-double oh'.

    Thanks.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 800 = eight hundred or eight double oh?

    In phone numbers, some combinations become known by a certain term. I believe that "1-800" numbers refer to calls that don't cost the caller anything (in the US) so people call them "one eight hundred" numbers. It's very similar in the UK. We use "0800" and we call them "oh eight hundred" numbers. It's just become convention. We use the names of the actual numbers when dictating a number that the listener needs to write down one digit at a time and we need to be sure that they're getting it right. The phrases "one eight hundred" and "oh eight hundred" are now so familiar that they've almost become the name of the type of number.

    Also, be aware, that people have different ways of giving out their phone number. One of my friends' old landline number ended "200400". She always said "two hundred, four hundred" when saying her number. That was probably just for convenience. Someone else reading out that number might say "two double zero, four double zero", "two double-oh, four double-oh", "two zero zero, four zero zero" or "two oh oh, four oh oh". It's personal choice.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Miss_Karen's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: 800 = eight hundred or eight double oh?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In phone numbers, some combinations become known by a certain term. I believe that "1-800" numbers refer to calls that don't cost the caller anything (in the US) so people call them "one eight hundred" numbers.
    Good early morning from the US.

    Just wanted to say that Emsr2d2 is correct. We more often than not use one - eight hundred - and so on and so forth. I can't answer for the entire country but people around hardly ever use oh-oh expression. We just stick to numbers.

  4. VIP Member
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    #4

    Re: 800 = eight hundred or eight double oh?

    All phone numbers in the North American Numbering Plan are grouped the same way: three-digit area code, three-digit exchange, four-digit number. With the exception of the old free numbers in the 800 area code, we always read them one digit at a time.

    Most people include the long-distance access code "1" when reading free phone numbers aloud.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: 800 = eight hundred or eight double oh?

    I would add that the 900 numbers (premium rate numbers where you pay substantially higher per-minute charges) are also an exception. Similar to 800 numbers, they're read as 'nine hundred' numbers.

    With the popularity of the toll-free number, the US started running low on possible toll-free numbers, and so about 10 years ago they started adding additional toll-free prefixes every few years.

    Currently, 800, 844, 855, 866, 877 and 888 all represent toll-free prefixes in the US, although more are expected to be added in the future. 976 I believe has also been added as a premium rate number.
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