one ninety


Senior Member
Hi, yesterday I was watching a TV program spoken in BE and at some point they said: "it's one ninety meters tall" (they were talking about a building by the way). It seemed strange to me, I would have said "it's one hundred and ninety meters tall" Is there a difference? is this way used only in BE? Your help is really appreciated!
  • tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Sorry, it's so natural to me that I didn't explain it. Yes, it means one hundred and twenty. We often use this form of expression for money too. That can be confusing because three fifty can mean three dollars and fifty cents or three hundred and fifty dollars!


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    This is an illustration of where context is critical. The original questioner told us it was a building, so one meter and 90 cm would not make sense (usually) so we could answer that "it means one hundred and ninety meters". Conversely, in a metric country if someone says "How tall is he?" The answer "He's one ninety" must mean 1 meter 90 cm!

    In the US (and some parts of Canada) body weight is expressed in pounds so "I weigh one twenty" is automatically interpreted as "I weigh 120 lb"

    In terms of prices, the context isn't always enough :)
    < Previous | Next >