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Thread: How to read decimals

  1. #1
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    How to read decimals

    Hi to everyone! Last week I came up with a doubt about how to read decimals.

    Up to what I know, anumber like this "10.890" is read: ten POINT eight hundred and ninety.

    HOWEVER, one person told me that I shouldnt read it with "POINT" as it is not correct... The book and the theory tell me that I should use it.... therefore I´m in ttwo minds which of the two options is the correct one, or if by using POINT I'm being colloquial and by omitting it I may be using a more "street-like" slang.

    Thanks in advance!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: How to read decimals

    What did this other person say you should be using? And was this person a native-English-speaker?

    To the best of my knowledge, the use of "point" is just fine. The only qualification that I would make is that I, personally, would say "ten point eight nine oh".

  3. #3
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    Re: How to read decimals

    Thanks for your comment!!!

    No, it's not really a native speaker. It's simply someone who lived in the United States for a couple of years and told me that.

    That's why I wondered if by not using point it was a way to simplyfy the language for the everyday's usage of this one...

    Apparently I can say so... can't I??

  4. #4
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    Re: How to read decimals

    I completely agree with dimcl.

    "If you think you can or if you think you can't, you're probably right."

  5. #5
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    Re: How to read decimals

    You still haven't told us what the alternative is. Is this person saying that you should ignore the decimal altogether? This wouldn't make sense as you would then be saying "ten, eight ninety".

    Your use of "point" is absolutely correct and I'm afraid that the person who told you otherwise is wrong.

  6. #6
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    Re: How to read decimals

    thank you both!!!

    Best!!!

    ;-D

  7. #7
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    Re: How to read decimals

    I also would say "point eight nine oh" or "point eight nine zero" instead of "eight hundred and ninety" which doesn't seem correct to me.

  8. #8
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    Re: How to read decimals

    well DIMCL, the funny thing is that the person told me that nothing is said... This is, for the following number 9.10, one would say nine ten, which makes no sense to me, instead of nine point ten. So having realized that I'm not the only person that thinks that the use of "point" is incorrect I will continue using it...

  9. #9
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    Re: How to read decimals

    Maybe your friend was thinking of height, where we would say "5,10" but that is not a "point" but rather means five feet 10 inches.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to read decimals

    It's OK to omit the "point" in come cases. If the context is clear that you are talking about money, then you can say "ten eighty nine" to mean 10 dollars and 89 cents.

  11. #11
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    Re: How to read decimals

    I think the rule is more likely that you don't say "point" when one number is in one unit (feet or dollars) and the following number is in a different unit (inches or cents). We wouldn't say "I owed him ten point five dollars" because we don't talk about decimal dollars as a rule.

  12. #12
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    Re: How to read decimals

    Theoretically you're not supposed to pronounce the point but instead say 10.89 as "ten and eighty-nine (one) hundredths" and 9.1 as "Nine and one tenth," or at least so I was taught in school.

    That said, 99% of people just pronounce the "point" and then read off the following digits one by one: "ten point eight nine" and "nine point one".

    The notable exceptions are height and money as has been stated above.

  13. #13
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    Re: How to read decimals

    Quote Originally Posted by ms291052 View Post
    Theoretically you're not supposed to pronounce the point but instead say 10.89 as "ten and eighty-nine (one) hundredths" and 9.1 as "Nine and one tenth," or at least so I was taught in school.
    I think that is exclusively a US practice. It "fails" for numbers such as 3.141589. In the UK it was taught to us in italics just as in your following example.
    Quote Originally Posted by ms291052 View Post
    That said, 99% of people just pronounce the "point" and then read off the following digits one by one: "ten point eight nine" and "nine point one".

    The notable exceptions are height and money as has been stated above.
    You do hear "three point one billion dollars" but for feet and inches, the point would be incorrect because the units aren't decimal.

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