Updated: Sep 26, 2021
Are big English Numbers difficult?
In this lesson, learn how to read almost any English number including big numbers in only 15-20 minutes. Never be afraid of big English numbers again!!
There are only 2 key points you need to know:
1. Read numbers in groups of 3.
2. Understand the comma/space.
Also, learn how to read English numbers such as decimal points, prices, and temperatures. Take the numbers quiz to test your numbers listening and writing skill, and we finish the lesson with 5 interesting numbers idioms.
You can find a list of Vocabulary and a Transcript from the lesson below.
Good luck, have fun, & happy studying!!
Take it easy,
The Personal English Trainer
decimal point celsius/farenheit common
digits hashtag responsibility
budget typical stone square kilometers routine efficiently
EASY ENGLISH NUMBERS
Hi there, Chris here. I am The Personal English Trainer. Welcome back. Nice to see you again. Take a look at this. Can you read this number? Think about it for a moment. I'll give you a few seconds. Get your pen, get your notebook and let's get ready to study. Hit that intro.
Welcome back. Thanks very much for joining me for today's lesson. So let's take a look at the lesson plan. Our goal is to read and understand numbers in English, okay. It's for all levels, but especially students lower intermediate and intermediate. But all students have trouble with numbers. So a little review will help everybody.
Okay, first, I will show you how easy it is to read large English numbers. There's just two key points you need to understand. Second, we will have a look at some unusual numbers, such as decimal points and prices and times and some other things. We'll do a little quiz, little quiz. And finally we'll finish with a few numbers idioms. Okay, so how do we read this number? Okay. One time ten trillion seventy billion five million nine hundred thousand and twenty-four. Okay, one more time, 10,070,005,900,024. Now, in just a few minutes, you will be able to read all big numbers like this. You just need to know two points.
Here we go. Point number one is groups of three. Point number two, understand the comma or space. Okay, so these are the two things you must understand to read any number. Okay. The comma means these here, the commas in the number. Sometimes we just have spaces.
Okay, so what do I mean by groups of three? Let's take a look at that. English numbers are always in groups of three. So you can see here we have this number with three.. three digits or three numbers, zero two four. We read that as twenty-four.
The second group of three is nine zero zero. We read that as nine hundred. The third group of three, zero zero five. We just read it as five. The next group of three, zero seven zero. We just read it as seventy, and the last group of three, we only have two numbers actually, we read it as ten. So the numbers can only be in the hundreds or in tens or even single numbers, okay.
When I say hundreds, I mean, each group of three will be less than 1000. So maximum nine, nine, nine would be 999. Okay, so ten, seventy, five, nine hundred, twenty-four. That's the first point.
Okay, the second point is about the commas. Okay, so you must understand what the comma or the space means in English. So the first one means thousand. The second one means million. Third one means billion. Now, we don't usually go higher than that. But recently, the United States budget is in trillions. Here in Japan, we use Japanese yen, which is often in the trillions. So the next comma is trillion.
Okay, so basically, these four words are all you need to know. More than a trillion is a little unusual. And I'm not going to talk about that today. So we have thousand, million, billion, trillion. So how do we read this number? Groups of three and commas. Here we go. Ready? 10,070,005,900,024. One more time, ten trillion…read it at home also… read it along with me. 10 trillion 70 billion 5 million 900 thousand and 24. One more time. Read it at home. 10,070,005,900,024.
Let's look at some more examples. We'll start easy, and then we'll get a little bit harder.
Okay, number one. So groups of three numbers are only 100. The first one. How do we read that? That's one hundred and one. One hundred and one, repeat it at home, one hundred and one.
Second one, how do we read this? Nine hundred and ninety-seven.
Okay, now we're going to get our first comma and the first comma is thousand. Therefore, this looks difficult because of the zeros, but the group of three numbers, we read it as five. This is five. It doesn't matter if it's here or if it's here or here or here, wherever it is, it's always five. How do we read it? One thousand and five. Next one, looks the same, but the number is here, which means this number is fifty. It's fifty. This group of three numbers is fifty. How do we read it? One thousand and fifty. Okay, let's move to the next one. We read this one as one thousand five hundred. You can see the five hundred there, one thousand five hundred. So one more time. This one thousand and five, this one..one thousand and fifty, and this one..one thousand five hundred. Let's get a little more difficult.
Here we are. How do you read that? We read it as five hundred and five. And we read that as ten. What's the first comma. First comma is thousand. So we have ten thousand five hundred and five. One more time. Read it at home, ten thousand five hundred and five. Okay, the next one very similar, ten thousand and fifty-five. Ten thousand and fifty five. Okay, let's move on to the right side. Okay.
Here we have one comma, first comma is thousand. This is thirty seven thousand one hundred and ninety-five. Read it at home with me. Thirty seven thousand one hundred and ninety-five.
Next one. Okay. What's the number on the left side? It's four hundred and eight. The comma is thousand. Therefore, four hundred and eight thousand and one. Just one. You can see, it's only one. One more time. Read it with me, four hundred and eight thousand and one. Next one... getting bigger.
We've got first comma is a thousand, second comma is million. Comma is million. So we have seventeen million five hundred thousand and one. Read it with me, seventeen million five hundred thousand and one.
Okay, next one. Now we're getting really big. We've got thousands, millions, billions. Therefore, this is four hundred billion five hundred million finish...finish. If we change it a little bit, let's make this two hundred. Let's make this eight. And let's make this five. Then we get four hundred billion five hundred million two hundred thousand eight hundred and five. So you must understand how to read in hundreds, groups of three, each group of three. And you need to understand what each comma means.
Okay, so now with that information, you should be able to read any English number. We've done this. Let's move on to some unusual numbers. We're going to work with three, one and five only. On the left side, we have three numbers.We have three and a decimal point and the one and the five. Now, many students, especially here in Japan, will read it as three point fifteen. Three point fifteen. That's wrong. We can't say three point fifteen. After the point, we must read each number. So we read it as three one five, three point one five. If there were more numbers, for example, after the point we had one five zero five seven, that's how we read it. Three point one five zero five seven. Okay, so after the decimal point, we read each number by itself.
The second one is a price. Now, here in Japan, a lot of students will say three point fifteen dollars three point fifteen dollars, which is wrong. I don't know about in your country how you would read that, but it should be three....let's start again. It should be three dollars and fifteen cents. Three dollars and fifteen cents. Three dollars and fifteen cents. Okay, three dollars and fifteen cents.
Now, if we were in the UK, they would use pounds. So how do we read in pounds, £3 and fifteen...not cents...fifteen pence. Three pounds and fifteen pence. That's why in the UK, you sometimes see a 'P' after this part. That means 'P' for pence. Okay.
Now if you're using Euro, it's a little different. You can say three Euro fifteen cents. You have Euro cents. But in my experience, when I was in Europe, people would say three point two euro, two point seven euro., three point one five 3.15 Euro. So it seems like in when you're using Euro, it's okay to say three point something Euro. But in America, in English, most English speaking countries which are using dollars, it's three dollars fifteen cents. Let's look at the next one.
So this is a time. There are two ways to read the time in English. If you would like to learn those ways, please check out my lesson on telling the time in English. I'll put the link to that video in the description below. So the first way we can read it at just three-fifteen, it's 3:15 PM.
But the second way to read it is to say it is quarter...it's quarter past three. Okay. 3:15, quarter past three. Three point one five, three dollars and fifteen cent, three fifteen PM. Let's move over to the other side.
Okay. Now this symbol here. We read it as percent. So this number three point one five percent.
Okay, km, you guys probably already know represents kilometer. Therefore we read it as three point one five kilometers.
Okay, the next one three point one five hmmm, what is this? A lot of students are not sure how to read this. We read this as square meters, square meters or square kilometers. So we read it as three point one five square meters. Okay. If you're in America, they probably use feet. So it would be three point one five square feet.
Okay, the last two are for measuring temperature. We have three and then a little circle and then a C. Or if you're in America, you might have an F. Let's have a look. First of all, the little circle is degrees. So it's three degrees. It's three degrees. The C and the F represent the scale. And in Western countries we often say celsius or centigrade. So it's three degrees celsius. In America, they have a different system and they will say degrees fahrenheit. So it's three degrees fahrenheit. If we had a decimal point, for example, three point one five, then it would be three point one five degrees celsius. So you can see that in all of these situations when we..we just read it as a decimal point, like in the first case, three point one five, three point one five percent, three point one five kilometers, three point one five square meters, three point one five degrees Celsius. Now, if there are any other numbers you'd like to know how to read, just ask me in the comments section below the video.
Okay, so let's move on to part three of our lesson, which is a little quiz. A little numbers quiz. Okay, so if you have a piece of paper, please write down the numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12. I'm going to read twelve numbers to you.
So there are twelve numbers in this quiz. So when I read the number, I want you to write down the number at home and then we'll check it together. Now I'm going to read each number two times. Okay, I'll read each number two times and please rut down the number that you hear. Now, the first one is very easy.
Number 1, three hundred and seventy-four, three hundred and seventy four. Okay, number two, seven thousand four hundred and ninety-five, one more time, seven thousand four hundred and ninety-five.
Okay, number three, one hundred and seven thousand four hundred and nine. Again, one hundred and seven thousand four hundred and nine. Number four. Now be careful. It's very similar to number three. Number 4, one hundred and seventy thousand four hundred and nine. One more time. One hundred and seventy thousand four hundred and nine.
Okay, number five, number five is a little bit big. Big number. Okay, number eighty-two million five hundred thousand. Eighty-two million five hundred thousand.
Got it. Okay, number 6, one hundred and four million seven hundred thousand four hundred. Okay, one more time, one hundred and four million seven hundred thousand four hundred.
Okay, number seven, number seven, two hundred and eighty-two thousand five hundred and seventy-seven, one more time, two hundred and eighty-two thousand five hundred and seventy-seven.
Okay, number eight. Now these are going to be smaller numbers, like times or temperatures or measurements. Okay, number eight, fifteen point five percent. One more time fifteen point five percent.
Okay, number nine, thirty-seven square kilometers, thirty-seven square kilometers.
Okay, number ten, five dollars and ninety-five cents, five dollars and ninety-five cents.
Number eleven, four point seven meters. One more time, four point seven meters. The last one. I hope you're doing well. Okay. The last one, twenty-eight degrees Celsius. One more time, twenty-eight degrees Celsius.
Now, before we check them, I'm going to read each one one more time. Okay. So if you want to skip to the answer, skip to the answer. Number one, three hundred and seventy-four. Number two, seven thousand four hundred and ninety-five. Number 3, one hundred and seven thousand four hundred and nine. Number four, one hundred and seventy thousand four hundred and nine. Number 5, eighty two million five hundred thousand. Number 6, one hundred and four million seven hundred thousand four hundred. Number 7, two hundred eighty-two thousand five hundred and seventy-seven. Number 8, fiftenn point five percent. Number 9, thirty-seven square kilometers. Number ten, five dollars ninety-five cents. Number eleven, four point seven meters and the last one, number 12, twenty-eight degrees Celsius.
Let's check. Let's see how many you got right. Number one was 374. Number two, 7,495. Number three,
number four were very similar. I was trying to trick you. Sorry about that. The first one was 107,409. Okay, number four, 170,409, number five, 82,500,000. Number six, 104,700,400. Number seven, 282,577. Okay, number eight, 15.5%. Number nine, 37 square kilometers. Number ten was a price. $5.95. Number eleven, 4.7 meters and number twelve, 28 degrees Celsius.
Okay, so those are the answers. Check them with your answers. Let me know in the comments section how many you got, right. I hope you got them all right.
So let's finish off today's lesson with some numbers idioms. I've put five idioms on the board and I'll go through them and I'll explain them. But first, I want to talk about this. So you probably have seen this on social media. And it's called hashtag...hashtag something hashtag, blah, blah blah, but we also read it as meaning number. So we would say, for example, number one, number two. Sometimes people will put 'No.' for number three, number four, number five. So you might see this, you might see this and it just means number. Okay. Now let's have a look at some idioms. The first one is very easy. You probably hear it a lot, especially in a, you know, business meeting or in the company or your job, okay, it's 'take five'. Take five. It just means to take a break. And I..we might say, for example, okay, everyone, let's take five and let's take five minutes. Let's take a short break, a five minute break. So let's take five. Okay. It's an easy one. You can use that.
Okay. The next one is a nine to five job. Now, the 'to' is not a number. It's 'to', 9-5 as in nine-to-five. So a nine to five job. An example, I'm tired of working a nine to five job. I want a different job. So it tends to be a little negative sounding, because a nine to five job is just a routine job where you're working from 9:00 a.m in the morning to 5:00 p.m at night. Typically, it was a kind of office job because a lot of factory work or other types of work had shift work with various hours. But a nine to five job with typical office hours. And sometimes some office jobs can be very routine. And you have to repeat the same task again in a game. And maybe it gets boring or tiring.
The next one. This is a one, that means 'one for the road'. It's very common. You sometimes hear it at a party or in a bar just before people are leaving, they say, okay, one more for the road. Let's have one for the road. Shall we have one for the road? One means one more drink, one more beer, one more glass of wine. Now, of course, don't do that if you're going to be driving, you shouldn't be having any for the road. So...but if you want to say just before leaving on a journey,or traveling or going home, you want to have one more. Let's have one for the road.
Okay. The next one says to be 'in two minds about something', to be in two minds about something. So this means you are undecided about something, maybe half you want to do this, and the other half you want to do that. So, for example, I'm in two minds about taking the new job. Maybe the new job has a higher salary, more money, but there is more responsibility or you have to travel a lot, or you have to work a lot of overtime late at night. So there is some benefit, but also some negative point. So it may be hard to decide or you might be a little confused about what you should do. So you could say I'm in two minds about taking a new job. I'm in two minds about moving to Osaka. I'm in two minds about studying English overseas.
Okay, the last one is 'to kill two birds with one stone'. Okay, maybe you've heard it before, I know there's a similar idiom in other languages to kill two birds with one stone means to use your time efficiently, not wasting time to do things more efficiently...umm...to save time. People are very busy, so they want to save time. Okay, so, for example, I usually take my dog for a walk when I go to the store...to the supermarket. I can kill two birds with one stone. So in this case, there are two tasks or two jobs to do. One go to the supermarket, buy some food for dinner. Two, take my dog for a walk. But if I do them both at the same time, so I take my dog and walk to the supermarket instead of, for example driving to the supermarket, then I can kill two birds with one stone. So that's how we use that one. Okay five numbers idioms!
Today, our goal was to read and understand numbers in English. I hope your numbers have improved. Reading and speaking should be easy now, but listening will still be difficult. You need to listen to practice. We covered large numbers. We covered some unusual numbers, like decimal points and prices and time.
Thank you very much for joining me for today's lesson. I hope you're much more confident about numbers. Please hit the like button and please share this with all your friends and your classmates and your family to help them learn and understand English numbers too.
I'll see you in the next lesson. Have a great day. Bye.