Numbers- Options for Saying Them

A LESSON PLAN FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS

Different ways of saying numbers, including British and American differences

By: Alex Case
Level: All Levels
Topic: Numbers
Grammar Topic: General
Page: /

Saying numbers in different ways

Find at least two ways of saying each of the numbers and amounts below. e.g. by converting it into another unit, pronouncing part of the number another way, or using both American and British English.

• 100
• 234
• 1,000,000,000
• The floor that you can walk into from the street
• The floor above that
• 15-0
• -5 degrees C
• 14
• 5
• 75
• 2%
• 1/4
• 6:15
• 2:20
• 3:16
• 4:05
• 3:55
• 16:00
• 08:00
• 4523 1709
• 4978 3222
• 1922
• 2010
• 1700
• 1500 – 1599
• 15 Jan
• 7/2/99
• 568 ml
• 90cm
• 54 cm
• 2 lb

Check with the answer key below. Are there any that you came up with which are not there?

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• 100 – a hundred/ one hundred
• 234 – two hundred thirty four/ two hundred and thirty four/ two three four (hotel room)
• 1,000,000,000 – a billion/ a thousand million/ one billion/ one thousand million
• The floor that you can walk into from the street – First floor (US)/ ground floor (British)
• The floor above that – Second floor (American English)/ first floor (British English)
• 15-0 – fifteen love (tennis)/ fifteen nil (unlikely soccer score)/ fifteen zero (other sports)
• -5 degrees C – minus five/ minus five degrees/ minus five degrees C/ minus five degrees centigrade/ minus five degrees Celsius/ five (degrees) below zero
• 14 – three point one four/ pi
• 5 – zero point five/ nought point five (British English)/ a half
• 75 – zero point seven five/ nought point seven five (British English)/ three quarters
• 2% - zero point two percent/ nought point two percent (British)/ a fifth of one percent
• 1/4- a quarter/ a fourth/ zero point two five
• 6:15 – (a) quarter past six/ six fifteen
• 2:20 – two twenty/ twenty past two
• 3:16 – sixteen minutes past three/ three sixteen
• 4:05 – five past four/ four oh five
• 3:55 – five to four/ three fifty five
• 16:00 – sixteen hundred (hours)/ four p.m./ four (o’clock) in the afternoon
• 08:00 – oh eight hundred (hours)/ eight a.m./ eight (o’clock) in the morning
• 4523 1709 – four five two three one seven zero nine/ four five two three one seven oh nine (British English)
• 4978 3222 – four nine seven eight three treble two/ four nine seven eight three two double two/ four nine seven eight three double two two/ four nine seven eight three two two two
• 1922 – nineteen twenty two (for a year)/ one nine two two (for a telephone number, e.g. an extension number)/ one nine two two (for telephone number/ PIN/ etc)
• 2010- two thousand ten/ two thousand and ten (British English)/ twenty ten (if it’s a year)/ two zero one zero (if it’s an extension number/ PIN/ etc)
• 1700 – seven teen hundred (number or year)/ one thousand seven hundred (number)/ one seven double zero (for a telephone number)/ one seven zero zero (PIN no, etc)
• 1500 – 1599 (or, technically, 1501 1600) – the sixteenth century/ the fifteen hundreds/ from fifteen hundred to fifteen ninety nine/ between one thousand five hundred and one thousand five hundred and ninety nine (for a number)
• 15 Jan – the fifteenth of January (British English)/ January (the) fifteenth/ January fifteen/ the fifteenth of the first
• 7/2/99 – the seventh of February nineteen ninety nine (British English)/ July second nineteen ninety nine/ the seventh of the second ninety nine
• 568 ml – five hundred (and) sixty eight millilitres/ fifty six point eight centilitres/ just over half a litre/ a pint
• 90cm – ninety centimetres/ ninety cm/ three feet
• 54 cm – two point five four centimetres/ two point five four cm/ one inch
• 2 lb – two point two pounds/ one kilogram/ one kilo/ one kg

Circle the one in each line that you would use (because it’s simple, more common, etc).