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From Teflpedia
Disambiguation: see grammatical number.

A number is a mathematical object used for counting, measuring and labelling.[1]

Meaning[edit | edit source]

Numbers in English come in two main types:

Numeral adverbs marginally form a third type.

1 billion used to be 1,000,000,000,000, but the Americans changed it to be merely 1,000,000,000. But they haven’t told the Europeans, where 1,000,000,000 is a milliard (or similar). See large number.


  • 12 is a dozen
  • 20 is a score.
  • We say 99.94 is "ninety-nine point nine four"

Form[edit | edit source]

Note, Americans tend to say "one hundred thirty-two" rather than "one hundred and thirty-two"

Europeans often use different number separators so that "1,234.5" or "1 234.5" is written as "1.234,5"[2]

The word number is a homograph, as it’s also the spelling for the comparative form of numb, which is pronounced /ˈnʌmə/.[3]

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

Students often need to practise thinking of numbers in English, as they will naturally default back to L1 thinking when reading numbers.

References[edit | edit source]