Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 185
    #1

    Billion in England

    Hello,

    In my dictionary, it says "a billion" can be either 1,000,000,000 or
    1,000,000,000,000 in England.
    I wonder how people distinguish if both of them are used.
    Only by common sense? Or are there any partifular rules or conditions which to use?

    It might be more like a question about culture than language, but
    I can't help asking it.

    I also tried to search it through internet, but couldn't find a useful site.
    If you show me where I can get the information, I would appreciate.

    Thank you,
    Tara

  1. I'm With Stupid's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 598
    #2

    Re: Billion in England

    It's basically the different between long scale and short scale numbering systems. Britain used to use long scale (a billion = a million million) and switched to short scale (a billion = a thousand million) in 1974. No-one uses a billion to mean a million million any more. In lots of mainland Europe, they do though. It's just a way to describe whether you change the word used every thousand or every million.

    Wikipedia article.

  2. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,551
    #3

    Re: Billion in England

    Traditionally, an American billion is a thousand million, while a British billion is a million million. However (as I understand it), in recent times British scientists have been following the American practice and when using the word "billion" meaning a thousand million. (This is a practical matter. It is better that they agree on the usage and thus avoid confusion.)


  3. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,551
    #4

    Re: Billion in England

    GMTA (Great minds think alike.)


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 185
    #5

    Smile Re: Billion in England

    Hello,

    Thank you very much for your kind explanation and showing the site
    that answers everything I wanted to know.
    And I'm glad you from Britain gave me the answer.
    It's the most reliable.

    Thank you and have a nice weekend.
    Tara

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 185
    #6

    Smile Re: Billion in England

    Hello,

    Thank you very much for the interesting information.
    It's interesting to know that scientists were the starter to change it.

    I've noticed there are lots of other words which have different meanings
    between England and America. Like how to count a stair, or verb "table".
    They are interesting to learn, but must be confusing especially in business
    situation.

    Thank you and have a nice weekend.
    Tara

Similar Threads

  1. England Prime Minister
    By Offroad in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 14-Apr-2008, 02:27
  2. in/to England
    By viet_ghat in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-Aug-2007, 12:59
  3. England (she)
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 19-Apr-2007, 04:15
  4. My story
    By Journalistdreamer in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2006, 05:27
  5. 'have been to England' but 'was in England'
    By Gregory_E_V in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-May-2005, 15:08

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •