1.99 one ninety-nine?

fdk47

Senior Member
Tagalog
Hi. I've read several threads on reading numbers but couldn't find the answer.

I know you read $1.99 as one ninety-nine, but if it's not a price, just the number for some calculation, do native speakers ever read it as "one ninety-nine" instead of "one point ninety-nine"?

Thank you.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It's possible. If somebody is reading from a list of prices that all fall between a dollar and ten dollars, it makes sense to say "one ninety-nine" instead of "one point ninety-nine" or "one dollar and ninety-nine cents."

    However, "point" is a short word and it's really not very much trouble to use whenever you think it's necessary for clarity. I'd always include "point" if I were reading from a list of numbers that varied widely in value.
     

    fdk47

    Senior Member
    Tagalog
    It's possible. If somebody is reading from a list of prices that all fall between a dollar and ten dollars, it makes sense to say "one ninety-nine" instead of "one point ninety-nine" or "one dollar and ninety-nine cents."
    .
    Thank you owlman5.

    Would you say that is only for the list of prices, or could be any list of numbers?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Not "any list of numbers", fdk47. Only a list of numbers that are similar enough so that it's not necessary to use a word to let the listener know where to place the decimal point.

    Consider this list of numbers:

    1.4836
    5,005,678.0049
    17.00076

    As you can see, these numbers vary widely in value. If you were reading from this list, it would be stupid to try to avoid using the word "point". The position of the decimal is meaningful and impossible to predict, so you need to use some word like "point" if you want somebody to understand what number you just read.
     
    Last edited:

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Except for prices, digits after a decimal point are almost always read out one by one. Thus 3.14 is read "three point one four," not "three point fourteen." After all, it's larger than 3.139, so it would be bizarre to read the latter out as "three point a hundred and thirty-nine."
     
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