two thousands OR two thousand

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Mmustafa, May 10, 2008.

  1. Mmustafa Senior Member

    Egypt, Arabic
    What is correct: he earns two thousands OR two thousand per month?
  2. jshmn New Member

    two thousand
  3. Revontuli

    Revontuli Senior Member

    Hello Mmustafa,

    The word ''thousand'' is not used in plural form if there is a number before it. But if you said ''thousands of people', that would be correct.
  4. Mmustafa Senior Member

    Egypt, Arabic
    That's fine, thank you both.
  5. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    I think I can say that he earns two thousand pounds, or he earns two thousands !:confused:
  6. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    No, he earns two thousand is the only correct way.
  7. Little_LIS

    Little_LIS Senior Member

    Without S even there is no noun after it ?
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Yes, although He earns two thousand is an unusual sentence.
    You'd be more likely to hear
    He earns two thousand a week.
    He earns ten thousand a month.
    He earns fifty thousand a year.
  9. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    He earns two thousand [dollars/euros] a week.

    The unit (noun) is often omitted.

    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  10. cfu507

    cfu507 Senior Member

    But what if two people from different countries (different currency) compare there salary?
  11. gaer

    gaer Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    In that case, they specify units.

    Person A makes two thousand dollars a week.
    Person B makes four thousand euros a week.
  12. Educational Member

    Rome, Italy
    Thank you. These simple and clear explanations are always very useful.

    But, how about "the years two thousand"?
    Is it correct or, in this particular case, it would be preferable to use the plural version "the years two thousands"?

    Please advice and many thanks to you all for your invaluable work.
  13. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    We don't say that with 'years'. We do use the plural when we talk about past centuries: the 1800s = the eighteen-hundreds = the years 1800 to 1899. So I suppose we might talk about the 2000s = the two thousands = the years 2000 to 2099. But I have never heard this. We're still not used to the new millennium and still haven't got comfortable with how we speak of it.

    Talking about pure numbers, we can also use plurals: 'the total is somewhere in the two thousands' = it's somewhere between 2000 and 2999, but I'm not sure where. We talk about 'the low two thousands' (2000 to perhaps about 2300) and 'the low thousands' (somewhere over 1000 to about 3000, but not a larger number of thousands).

    As I used above, we use 'years' with two end-points: the years 1800 to 1850.
  14. Educational Member

    Rome, Italy
    It is quite clearer now. In fact in English you don't need to use the word 'years'.
    My problem is that I was giving an instruction, in English, to not-English speaking people and for them the right expression comes with 'years' (for example, in English you say 'the Sixties', in Italian we say 'the years Sixties').
    Conclusively, I believe, like you, that the right expression is "the two thousands" and not "the years two thousand/s". Thank you very much.
  15. Sparky Malarky

    Sparky Malarky Moderator

    English - US
    It sounds like you are looking for a term (like the sixties, or the eighties) for the years between 2000 and 2009. Unfortunately, there is no term which has been widely adopted. The decade from 2010 through 2019 doesn'thave a name either. Maybe someday someone will hit on one. I feel sure that 2020 through 2029 will be "the twenties." Context will make it clear that we don't mean the 1920s or the 1620s.
  16. Educational Member

    Rome, Italy
    Thank you Sparky, you're right, I was looking for a definition of the past decade (2000 - 2010).
    I understand there is not a widely adopted term.
    This gives me some freedom to say something like "the two thousands" and wait for a better definition in the future.
    In any case, as far as I know, this is the expression commonly used in Italian, French, Spanish, Polish, Ukrainian and Russian.
    Best regards.
  17. Thelb4 Senior Member

    UK English
  18. Educational Member

    Rome, Italy
    Thank you very much. At least I now know another pure-British expression.
  19. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I was really hoping some variation on "nought" would become accepted in the US, but alas, none has, at least not so far. So I think "the two thousands," while boooooorrrrrrrrring, is your best bet, Educational.
  20. Thelb4 Senior Member

    UK English
    The thing with "the two thousands" is that it could refer to any of the following time periods:

  21. Educational Member

    Rome, Italy
    How about the "thousand-tens", etc. until, after a couple of decades, we'll get back to the old fashion "the thirties, fifties, seventies, etc."?
  22. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  23. tlaw New Member

    two thousand (no s) if you are talking about money

    however, if you are talking about the year, we (lawyers) usually put "s" in the UK but not in USA. For instance:

    IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my Stamp at [address], this 7th day of July two thousands and thirteen. (with "s").
  24. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Do "we"? I realize I'm an AmE speaker, but I've read a lot of BE, and I've never seen that. Your example is apparently from a legal document, Tlaw, and such documents often include things that are never or seldom seen in regular writing or speech. Perhaps "two thousands and thirteen" is one of those.
  25. tlaw New Member

    Hi Kate. Exactly what I said. We (lawyers) use thousands with "s" in UK. On the contrary, when I work in New York, I rarely see the "s".

    I am a lawyer not a translator. I find this website very helpful, and I am trying to help back with the "legalese" when I can.

    p.s. - Besides The Telegraph - London newspaper - uses "thousands" with "s" as well.
  26. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I'm sorry I wasn't clear. Lawyers might indeed use thousands to indicate years in legal documents, but I don't think even lawyers do so in regular speech and writing. Your earlier post seemed to indicate that you do, but if I misinterpreted you, I apologize.

    As for the Telegraph, can you find a citation? I am sure it uses thousands at times - everybody does - but I find it very difficult to believe that it uses thousands to indicate a year. I just did a quick search on the Telegraph's site and all I found were years written as figures ("1942," "2013," etc.), which is the way most of us write them. But maybe I didn't search hard enough.

    But even if the Telegraph does do so, I don't believe you'll find that many modern BE speakers and writers do. It's a very antiquated way of referring to years, at least as far as I know.
  27. tlaw New Member

    Confirm. Very antiquated and used in writing only.
  28. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    If you use Google to search for "two thousands and thirteen" and page forward, you will find that there are only 34 hits. None of those hits appear to have been written by anyone in the legal profession.

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