Writing and Saying Large Numbers

Writing and Saying
Large Numbers (#1)

 

 

We don't normally write numbers with words, but it's possible
to do this--and of course this will show how we 
say the numbers.

In writing large numbers, American English uses a comma ( , )
to separate thousands, millions, etc. American English also uses
hyphen ( - ) to separate "tens" words (twenty, fifty, etc.) and
"ones" words (one, three, six, etc.)

Examples:

 

Group 1
written   said
1,011   one thousand eleven
     
21,011   twenty-one thousand eleven
     
721,011   seven hundred twenty-one
thousand eleven

 

 

 

Group 2
written   said
1,256,721   one million two hundred fifty-six
thousand seven hundred twenty-one
     
31,256,721   thirty-one million two hundred
fifty-six thousand seven hundred
twenty-one
     
631,256,721   six hundred thirty-one million
two hundred fifty-six thousand
seven hundred twenty-one

 

 

 

Group 3
written   said
1,492,638,526   one billion four hundred ninety-two
million six hundred thirty-eight
thousand five hundred twenty-six
     
41,492,638,526   forty-one billion four hundred
ninety-two million six hundred
thirty-eight thousand five hundred
twenty-six
     
941,492,638,526   nine hundred forty-one billion
four hundred ninety-two million
six hundred thirty-eight thousand
five hundred twenty-six

 

 

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Special Notes:

 


1.  

In American English, the order of large numbers is
thousand, million, billion, trillion, etc. (1,000; 1,000,000;
1,000,000,000; 1,000,000,000,000; etc.)

In American English a thousand million is a billion,
but in British English, a thousand million is a 
milliard.

     
2.  

When saying large numbers, do not make thousand,
million, billion, trillion, etc. plural.

Not this:
*
twenty thousands dollars; *five millions people

But this:
twenty thousand dollars; five million people

     
3.  

In American English, use commas to separate
thousands, millions, etc.

Not this:

*21.011
*31.256.721
*941.492.638.526

But this:

21,011
31,256,721
941,492,638,526

     
4.  

People often say "a" instead of "one" before
hundred, thousand, etc. and they often add
"
and" before the last number:

a hundred and twenty-one

a thousand and eleven / etc.

 

 

Comments

Write Out Numbers

Sometimes you need to write out numbers using words. When writing a check, words are used for clarification even though numerals may make more sense to you. Learn how to turn a set of numbers into words and how to write out numbers when you need to.

Just Like it Sounds

If you can say it, you can write it. A rule of thumb is to write out numbers just as they sound. If your number is 1,234, say it out loud. It will be written just as it sounds: One thousand two hundred thirty-four.

A Few Tips

Note the hyphen in "thirty-four" above. It is technically correct to hyphenate some numbers, but merchants don’t care when you’re writing a check.
Using a Hyphen
Do not use the word "and" after "hundred"
Avoid informal ways of saying things. Write "one thousand two hundred" instead of "twelve hundred"
Only write the dollar amount in words. For less than a dollar, use a fraction. If your number is 1234.59, write "one thousand two hundred thirty-four and 59/100"