How to Read Numbers Aloud

The numbers less than 100 are read normally. For numbers that are larger than 100, we usually read them in a special way.

Three-Digit Numbers

If a three-digit number ends in 00, we say the first digit and the word hundred.

100 | 1 00 | one hundred |

200 | 2 00 | two hundred |

500 | 5 00 | five hundred |

900 | 9 00 | nine hundred |

If that three-digit number does not end in 00, we mentally divide the number in two parts. Beginning at the right divide the number into two digits and one digit and say each part.

150 | 1 50 | one fifty |

237 | 2 37 | two thirty-seven |

694 | 6 94 | six ninety-four |

999 | 9 99 | nine ninety-nine |

If a three-digit number has a zero in the middle, we say each number separately, usually saying "oh" instead of "zero."

105 | 1 0 5 | one oh five |

207 | 2 0 7 | two oh seven |

604 | 6 0 4 | six oh four |

Four-Digit Numbers

If a four-digit number ends in 000, we say the first digit and the word thousand.

1000 | 1 000 | one thousand |

2000 | 2 000 | two thousand |

7000 | 7 000 | seven thousand |

9000 | 9 000 | nine thousand |

If a four-digit number ends in 00, we mentally divide the number in groups of two, say the first group and the word hundred for the 00.

1400 | 14 00 | fourteen hundred |

1500 | 15 00 | fifteen hundred |

1800 | 18 00 | eighteen hundred |

1900 | 19 00 | nineteen hundred |

If a four-digit number does not end in 000 or 00, we mentally divide the number into groups of two and say each part.

1025 | 10 25 | ten twenty-five |

1539 | 15 39 | fifteen thirty-nine |

1810 | 18 10 | eighteen ten |

1958 | 19 58 | nineteen fifty-eight |

If the last two digits of a four-digit number end in zero plus a number from one to nine, we usually say "oh one," "oh two," etc.

1203 | 12 0 3 | twelve oh three |

1509 | 15 0 9 | fifteen oh nine |

1701 | 17 0 1 | seventeen oh one |

1907 | 19 0 7 | nineteen oh seven |

It is very common to use this method for street addresses, years, and prices.

The late 1900's was a period of rapid technolgical adavances.
[nineteen hundreds]

He lives at 1308 Market Street. [thirteen oh eight]

Her address is 1298 Elm Street [twelve ninety-eight]

Apartment 401 [four oh one]

Columbus discovered America in 1492. [fourteen ninety-two]

My shirt cost $12.98. [twelve ninety-eight]

That used car costs $1,298. [twelve ninety-eight]

Students often ask how we distinguish between the numbers in the last two examples. The context usually makes the amount clear. In the examples, a shirt does not normally cost $1, 298, and a car, even a used one, does not normally cost $12.98. If, however, we believe the amounts could be confused, we say the full amount.

If a number contains a decimal point, we say the word point for the decimal point.

3.14 [three point one four]

5.04 [five point oh four]

note: We use point for the decimal point, period for the end of a sentence and abbreviations, and dot for other uses [.com = dot com, the dot on the i ].

Practice saying the following numbers aloud.

107 | 237 | 1066 | 1202 | 1100 |

205 | 515 | 1241 | 1608 | 1300 |

409 | 750 | 1519 | 1707 | 1500 |

803 | 942 | 1857 | 1901 | 1900 |

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This page was last modified on 06/15/10