1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Fifteen hundred or one thousand five hundred

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Beef, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Beef New Member

    English, England
    Happy New Year to one and all. A question related to numbers:we say two thousand three hundred, four thousand six hundred and seventy- six etc etc but between a thousand and two thousand, we prefer twelve hundred not one thousand two hundred. In athletics they run the fifteen hundred metres, not the one thousand five hundred metres. Any ideas please.
     
  2. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    What's your question, Beef?
     
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    I also see nothing wrong or strange about saying "twenty-three hundred", or "forty-six hundred".
     
  4. Beef New Member

    English, England
    The question is why do we prefer( from 1,000-2,000) to say eleven hundred(not one thousand one hundred) until nineteen hundred but when we reach 2,000 and beyond, we prefer two thousand five hundred and not twenty-five hundred. Both forms are comprehensible but between 1,100-1,900, the "hundred" version sounds better. Consequently the athletic example:" Sebastian Coe won the Olympic Fifteen Hundred Metres"(not the one thousand five hundred metres). On the other hand, in the 10,000 metre final, David Bedford broke the field after five thousand five hundred metres( not fifty-five hundred metres). Thank you.
     
  5. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    I'm not really sure that we "prefer" this rule set that you've provided. In fact, I often hear people refer to "twenty-five hundred" or "forty-three hundred", etc. I think that it's a personal style issue and not quite as cut and dried as you've intimated.
     
  6. Beef New Member

    English, England
    Thank you Dimcl. There is perhaps a difference between British English and American English.Between 1,000-2,000, I would almost always say fifteen hundred dollars, eighteen hundred pounds, but I would never say twenty-five hundred pounds but two thousand five hundred. The anomaly is between 1000-2000 and I have never found a satisfactory explanation but hope springs eternal!
     
  7. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Well, I hope that a BE speaker jumps in here, then.
     
  8. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    As a Brit, I would agree with that although likewise I can think of no logical reason for it.
     

Share This Page