Number: Saying numbers from 101 to 119 in AE

panjandrum

Lapsed Moderator
English-Ireland (top end)
I know that BE and AE differ in the way we say numbers.
BE uses "and" a lot. AE doesn't.

I'm particularly interested in the numbers from 101 to 119.

We BE-speakers call these one or a hundred and one, ... two, ... three, ... up to one/a hundred and nineteen.
one hundred and one
one hundred and two
.
.
one hundred and nineteen
What about AE?

Does anything change when we are talking about a bigger number?
If you are speaking numbers and the three digits are the number of thousands (for example,101,nnn) what do you say?
BE says "one/a hundred and one thousand, ..." right up to "one/a hundred and nineteen thousand, ...".
What about AE?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Interesting question. I think "one hundred and three thousand" is preferred, though some would say "a hundred and three thousand".
     

    tannen2004

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    It's kind of an odd thing in my case... If I was counting, I'd say "ninety-nine, one hundred, one hundred one, one hundred two, etc." but it's different when I'm following the number with a noun.

    I have always said "and" in these cases. In fact I'd say "a hundred and twenty dollars" or "three hundred and ninety books".

    I would instinctively say "one hundred and one thousand dogs", and even "one million, one hundred and one thousand cats".

    That said, about.com's ESL site insists that AE doesn't use "and"... ever.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Interesting question. I think "one hundred and three thousand" is preferred, though some would say "a hundred and three thousand".
    You definitely use "and" for "one hundred and three"?
    But I believe you would say "one/a hundred twenty".
    Where, on the way from 101 to 120, does the "and" vanish?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    It's kind of an odd thing in my case... If I was counting, I'd say "ninety-nine, one hundred, one hundred one, one hundred two, etc." but it's different when I'm following the number with a noun.

    I have always said "and" in these cases. In fact I'd say "a hundred and twenty dollars" or "three hundred and ninety books".

    I would instinctively say "one hundred and one thousand dogs", and even "one million, one hundred and one thousand cats".

    That said, about.com's ESL site insists that AE doesn't use "and"... ever.
    I found your observations very interesting. I think that the ESL site's comment on AE is just plain wrong. "Three hundred twenty" may be common, but I myself add an "and" frequently, especially when I use a noun afterward: "Three hundred and twenty dollars".
     

    xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    Where, on the way from 101 to 120, does the "and" vanish?
    If I were talking about the actual amount of things, then the "and" would be important. I tend to contract it in normal speech, but it's still more or less present. Something like:
    "The keyboard cost a hundred'n twenty dollars."

    I think it would disappear only in contexts where the fact that I'm talking about a three-digit figure was already clear:
    "My keyboard cost a hundred'n twelve, but Ed's cost one twenty."
    Though, would also be elided for amounts greater than 100:
    "My keyboard cost a hundred'n twelve, but Fred's cost two twenty five."


    In counting I cut out all kinds of sounds when I'm going fast. It seems like, just trying it out, I say "hunred'n one, hunred'n two, hunred'n three" up until around 119, at which it's natural to flip to "one twenny, one twenny-one, one twenny-two."
    I'm not sure if that's exactly what you're after, but I figure you'll be interested in experimental results. :)

    Edit: I gave the counting thing a couple more tries, and I start saying "one" instead of "hundred and" at anywhere between 113 and 120. There's no real rhyme or reason to it, unfortunately.
     
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    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think that many AE speakers include an "and" in more numbers than they realize. When speaking, I have a tendency to include the "and" in all those numbers above 100, yet most of the time I don't include "and" if I am writing them out.

    I must admit that when I first found out that AE speakers don't put "ands" in numbers, I had to make a conscious effort to leave them out. I've given up on that notion when speaking in numbers, and I don't think I'm alone. :)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think that many AE speakers include an "and" in more numbers than they realize. When speaking, I have a tendency to include the "and" in all those numbers above 100, yet most of the time I don't include "and" if I am writing them out.

    I must admit that when I first found out that AE speakers don't put "ands" in numbers, I had to make a conscious effort to leave them out. I've given up on that notion when speaking in numbers, and I don't think I'm alone. :)
    It doesn't surprise me that you were too wise to force yourself into adopting such foolish advice. I don't know where this idea came from, but I think that either there was a sampling error or no attempt to record and count what people actually say before this "rule" was made.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I know that BE and AE differ in the way we say numbers.
    BE uses "and" a lot. AE doesn't.
    That "AE doesn't" is news to me. The only case in which I—and those I know—frequently omit "and" is in stating a number without repeating the things it applies to.

    How many mice have you counted so far?
    -One hundred thirteen.
    [Even in this example, we sometimes say One hundred and thirteen. That would add emphasis by slowing the statement.


    I'm particularly interested in the numbers from 101 to 119.

    We BE-speakers call these one or a hundred and one, ... two, ... three, ... up to one/a hundred and nineteen.
    one hundred and one
    one hundred and two
    .
    .
    one hundred and nineteen
    What about AE?
    I am with other AE respondents in using "and" when stating the number before a noun or noun phrase: One hundred and seventeen miles, One hundred and twelve casks of maple syrup.

    Does anything change when we are talking about a bigger number?
    If you are speaking numbers and the three digits are the number of thousands (for example,101,nnn) what do you say?
    BE says "one/a hundred and one thousand, ..." right up to "one/a hundred and nineteen thousand, ...".
    What about AE?
    I haven't paid much attention to this, but I don't think I change from what I've said above when there are thousands or millions involved.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    On the other hand, practice changes in some contexts. For example:

    I'm taking Psych one-oh-one (101)
    Im staying in room one-nineteen (119)
    You can call me at extension one-oh-five (105)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You definitely use "and" for "one hundred and three"?
    But I believe you would say "one/a hundred twenty".
    Where, on the way from 101 to 120, does the "and" vanish?
    Panjandrum, I'm sorry I didn't notice your question and answer it sooner.

    Others have done a pretty good job of describing widespread practice over here,so I'll just respond to your specific questions in this post. I think I start dropping the "and" at 111. There's no good reason for this beyond saving myself a syllable when I get to the longer numbers. You're right: In saying the number by itself, I'd say "one hundred twenty". Having given some thought to the question about how I actually say larger numbers, I think I generally use "a" before "thousand, million, etc." in many contexts. Here are a few examples:

    Denver has more than a million people.
    He gave me a thousand dollars.
    I wouldn't do it for a trillion dollars.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    On the other hand, practice changes in some contexts. For example:

    I'm taking Psych one-oh-one (101)
    Im staying in room one-nineteen (119)
    You can call me at extension one-oh-five (105)
    Same goes for European usage.
    The main difference I come across is as regards years, Americans will often say "two thousand nine" etc. whereas over here "two thousand and nine" is the standard.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'm not sure this is relevant but I wonder if our American friends (and others, of course:)) have the same phenomenon whereby advertisers now 'dress down' big prices to make them appear less 'threatening': a piece of furniture which formerly cost six hundred and ninety-five pounds now routinely costs six-nine-five* ... ?

    *Literally just that: not six-nine-five pounds.
     

    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    I am a native speaker of American English. This is an area where when I have occasion to write these numbers out, there is a divergence between what I say and what I write. I say "it costs a hundered dollars." I would write "it costs one-hundred dollars." Likewise I would say "there's only a half a piece of pie," but would write "there's one-half a piece of pie," and would write "it's one-half block from here," though I would say "it's a half-block from here."

    I don't really know why.

    Potentially off-topic, but I have noticed that my California friends called their "freeways" (what we would call "expressways") *the* 101 (the-one-oh-one) (that is, US Route 101) and Interstate 5 "the-five," while on the East Coast we say "one" or "route-one" for Route 1 or "ninety-five" or "Interstate-ninety-five" for Interstate 95. We never use an article before the numeral (only when it's actually name-- e.g., the George Washington Parkway) before the names of these highways.

    I can't even get the phrase "the-ninety-five" out of my mouth.
     
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    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    I'm not sure this is relevant but I wonder if our American friends (and others, of course:)) have the same phenomenon whereby advertisers now 'dress down' big prices to make them appear less 'threatening': a piece of furniture which formerly cost six hundred and ninety-five pounds now routinely costs six-nine-five* ... ?

    *Literally just that: not six-nine-five pounds.
    Yes, though perhaps as in the case in the UK I don't think we're "allowed" grammatically to add dollars after the number reduced in the way you describe. "The dishwasher costs six-ninety-nine." But I don't think can say "the dishwasher costs six-ninety-nine dollars," in American English. It sounds odd.
     

    MJRupeJM

    Senior Member
    USA
    English- U.S.
    I'm not sure this is relevant but I wonder if our American friends (and others, of course:)) have the same phenomenon whereby advertisers now 'dress down' big prices to make them appear less 'threatening': a piece of furniture which formerly cost six hundred and ninety-five pounds now routinely costs six-nine-five* ... ?

    *Literally just that: not six-nine-five pounds.
    Six-nine-five is not something I've heard in AE. Six-ninety-five (and the like) I've heard frequently, that is, I've heard it spoken. I'm guessing this is what you mean...I don't know of any convention we have like that in writing out numbers.
     

    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Denver has more than a million people.
    He gave me a thousand dollars.
    I wouldn't do it for a trillion dollars.
    All of these things I would say. I would write "one" in lieu of "a/an" were I writing, say, a formal report or official correspondence (actually, being pedantic, I would probably use "one" instead of "a/an" in most e-mails I would write too, but that's just me).
     

    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    On the other hand, practice changes in some contexts. For example:

    I'm taking Psych one-oh-one (101)
    Im staying in room one-nineteen (119)
    You can call me at extension one-oh-five (105)

    There's a big difference, it now occurs to me, in how we "pronounce" numerals when they are used for purposes of "counting" things versus when they are simply used for "numbering" things.

    Route 109 is never "route-one-hundred-and-nine," because we're not counting the route, we're numbering it. So it's "Route-one-oh-nine" (or as I understand it, "the-one-oh-nine" in California).
     

    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    That "AE doesn't" is news to me. The only case in which I—and those I know—frequently omit "and" is in stating a number without repeating the things it applies to.

    How many mice have you counted so far?
    -One hundred thirteen. [Even in this example, we sometimes say One hundred and thirteen. That would add emphasis by slowing the statement.


    [/B]I am with other AE respondents in using "and" when stating the number before a noun or noun phrase: One hundred and seventeen miles, One hundred and twelve casks of maple syrup.

    I haven't paid much attention to this, but I don't think I change from what I've said above when there are thousands or millions involved.

    I tend to agree-- the numbers can be said with and without "and" in American English. I can hear myself saying both. Somehow, though I believe that with "and," the number is what linguists would call "marked." You're calling attention to the precision of the figure you are dictating, or to the size of the figure. But I cannot think of adding the "and" as ever being "wrong." Likewise, I believe I would include the "and" in written American English, were there ever cause to write out the number (certainly a situation were the size and precision of the number would be at issue).

    For what it's worth, when I read about what constitutes "AE," it's always what's different about AE from (typically) BE, but the description fails to provide the circumstances under which AE in fact does not deviate from BE practice (because typically it's only the differences the writer is interested in). Unfortunately language is more complicated than that. I'm always reading descriptions about what I should be saying as an "AE" speaker, and what is said in "BE" instead, and then thinking ... but I understand and use both! The pronuncation of numerals is no doubt one of them.
     
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    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm really confused now.
    I was convinced by what I had read that AE speakers do not generally include "and" in three-digit numbers from 120-999. I was sure that you didn't say "one hundred one", but unsure where in that range the "and" dropped out :)

    Quotes from AE-speakers from earlier threads on the subject:
    In AE, it would be "One thousand two hundred thirty four ...
    five hundred thirteen thousand, nine hundred eighty
    Five hundred (and) thirteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty ... ands are optional
    In a scientific setting, the word and does not appear in any numbers
    we often colloquially say "and" between "hundred" and "thirty four," but formal language leaves it out
    formal: "one hundred fifty dollars"


    Perhaps I'm looking for consistency where there is none.
    That's a very useful conclusion, of course.

    I'm interested in the use of "and" when speaking or writing three digit numbers as numbers or perhaps as amounts of money.
    Not about phone numbers or route numbers or others that are spoken as a series of individual digits.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    I'm really confused now.
    Keep it up a while longer and you will be as confused as I have been and for just as long. ;)



    I'm interested in the use of "and" when speaking or writing three digit numbers as numbers or perhaps as amounts of money.
    Not about phone numbers or route numbers or others that are spoken as a series of individual digits.
    For three digit numbers, as stated earlier, I often omit the "and". With amounts of money, I include "and" when naming dollars, and often omit it when the unit of currency is understood from context and not stated:

    What did you pay for that log splitter?

    1) Thirteen hundred and forty dollars. [Hmmm...Does $1340.00 qualify as three digit?]
    2) Thirteen forty.

    How much was the dohicky?

    1) One hundred and fifteen dollars.
    2) One fifteen.

    I use both forms, 1) and 2).
     

    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    I'm really confused now.
    I was convinced by what I had read that AE speakers do not generally include "and" in three-digit numbers from 120-999. I was sure that you didn't say "one hundred one", but unsure where in that range the "and" dropped out :)

    Quotes from AE-speakers from earlier threads on the subject:
    In AE, it would be "One thousand two hundred thirty four ...
    five hundred thirteen thousand, nine hundred eighty
    Five hundred (and) thirteen thousand, nine hundred and eighty ... ands are optional
    In a scientific setting, the word and does not appear in any numbers
    we often colloquially say "and" between "hundred" and "thirty four," but formal language leaves it out
    formal: "one hundred fifty dollars"

    Perhaps I'm looking for consistency where there is none.
    That's a very useful conclusion, of course.

    I'm interested in the use of "and" when speaking or writing three digit numbers as numbers or perhaps as amounts of money.
    Not about phone numbers or route numbers or others that are spoken as a series of individual digits.
    As is always the case, context is key. I'm sure there's consistency in some contexts. I bet banks have rules about this. I bet the Chicago Style Manual has a rule. I bet the MLA has a rule. I bet Strunk and White have a rule. Perhaps Merriam-Webster's has something to say about it. But these sorts of rules would apply in differing contexts in American English-- formal written English, formal spoken English, formal academic English, newspapers, commercial English etc.

    I'm just not sure Americans as a whole have a rule for speaking and writing these sorts of numbers-- and I'm apt to say that not only are they often interchangeable, but sometimes there's even a slight nuance between when "and" is used and when it's not. Our friend from Maine has pointed this out, and I tend to agree with him.
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Here is a perfect example where there is a marked difference between two speakers of the same language. It illustrates the lack of consistency and will undoubtedly add to Panj's confusion.
    For three digit numbers, as stated earlier, I often omit the "and". With amounts of money, I include "and" when naming dollars, and often omit it when the unit of currency is understood from context and not stated:

    What did you pay for that log splitter?

    1) Thirteen hundred and forty dollars. [Hmmm...Does $1340.00 qualify as three digit?]
    I would say "one thousand three hundred and forty". I'd understand "thirteen hundred and forty", but it wouldn't be instantaneous, I'd have to think a bit.
    Well, ok... it's not the "and" that's the difference for me in this one, it's the "thirteen". :p
    2) Thirteen forty.
    This sounds like it would mean "thirteen dollars and forty cents" to me. :)

    How much was the dohicky?

    1) One hundred and fifteen dollars. I'd also use this one.
    2) One fifteen. This one is a time. What time is it? It's one fifteen. :D

    I use both forms, 1) and 2). I think I do also, but it depends on the number.
     

    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Here is a perfect example where there is a marked difference between two speakers of the same language. It illustrates the lack of consistency and will undoubtedly add to Panj's confusion.
    Well, no. It will illuminate the diversity of American English. We cannot make the diversity of American English into something that it is not. I'd point out the the variations here suggests regional variations based on where the geographic source of the responses. I also thing that age plays a part in this-- this is obviously a part of the language in flux.

    We could pretend the answer was easy, but that ultimately, in the real world of American Engish usage, would lead to only more confusion.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I agree with biker that context plays a large role.

    If we're talking about a mechanized/motorized log-splitter, $13.40 wouldn't make sense (these days anyway), while an axe with maws (I think that's the word) might cost that little. As for the dohicky, unless one is at the conversation site and can see what the dohicky actually is, there's no guessing whether it's $1.15 or $115.00.

    As a nother context, personally I tend to write check amounts with the fewest words possible (the line is not long enough for long or complicated numbers) so using LabLady's example

    "I would say "one thousand three hundred and forty".
    I'd understand "thirteen hundred and forty", but it wouldn't be instantaneous, I'd have to think a bit."


    I'd use the green version, it's many characters shorter
    ...
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I am content with the conclusion ... that we need to take care to avoid giving the message, often given in the past, that there is a very clear pattern of no "and" in AE usage.

    Thank you all :)
     

    UUBiker

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    As a nother context, personally I tend to write check amounts with the fewest words possible (the line is not long enough for long or complicated numbers) so using LabLady's example

    "I would say "one thousand three hundred and forty".
    I'd understand "thirteen hundred and forty", but it wouldn't be instantaneous, I'd have to think a bit."

    I'd use the green version, it's many characters shorter...

    Examining my checks on line, I invariably write in an "and" between the "hundred" and the "ten," that is, "four hundred and fifty."

    I (almost) never use the word "thousand," I note, so this cuts down on the size of the word-- "twenty-four hundred and fifty-six dollars and no/cents."

    I've just recently learned that this is what I actually do. There are no checks that lack an "and."
     
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