Englishlanguage numerals

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See also list of numbers (to be merged). Template:Merge

There are two main English-language systems of number names: the short scale system (used in the United States, Canada and most of the English-speaking world) and the long scale system (used in most Germanic and Romance languages). The long scale system is the older one and was also called the Traditional British system, because it was used in Great Britain until 1974[1]. Britain and Australia have largely switched to the short scale system. The short scale system was originally invented by the French, adopted by the United States, and then abandoned by France.

The principal difference between the two systems is the meaning of the word "billion" and its multiples: in the long scale system a billion is a million million (1012), a trillion is a million billion (1018), and so forth; a thousand million (109) is called a milliard, a thousand billion (1015) a billiard etc. In the short scale system a billion is a thousand million (109), a trillion is a thousand billion (1012), and so forth.

After the million mark, the long scale number system is based on millions, the short scale number system is based on thousands. The prefix of the number name corresponds to the power of the base number. e.g. bi means 2, tri means 3, quadri means 4, etc.

  • In the long scale system (see Nicolas Chuquet), each number is a power of a million, i.e. (n)illion = (one million)n = 10n×6.
  • In the short scale system, the prefix and the number of power of thousand will match only when the first 1000 is factored out, i.e. (n)illion = 1000 × 1000n or 10(n+1)×3.

Compare SI prefixes: the larger ones based on the word for n mean 1000n.

The long scale of zillions
 
The short scale of zillions
  one million
 = 
  Million  1
 = 
  10  6
   ≡   
   one million
 = 
  1000 * 1000  1
 = 
  10  6
  one billion
 = 
  Million  2
 = 
  10 12         ≠            one billion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  2
 = 
  10  9
  one trillion
 = 
  Million  3
 = 
  10 18         ≠            one trillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  3
 = 
  10 12
  one quadrillion
 = 
  Million  4
 = 
  10 24         ≠            one quadrillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  4
 = 
  10 15
  one quintillion
 = 
  Million  5
 = 
  10 30         ≠            one quintillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  5
 = 
  10 18
  one sextillion
 = 
  Million  6
 = 
  10 36         ≠            one sextillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  6
 = 
  10 21
  one septillion
 = 
  Million  7
 = 
  10 42         ≠            one septillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  7
 = 
  10 24
  one octillion
 = 
  Million  8
 = 
  10 48         ≠            one octillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  8
 = 
  10 27
  one nonillion
 = 
  Million  9
 = 
  10 54         ≠            one nonillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000  9
 = 
  10 30
  one decillion
 = 
  Million 10
 = 
  10 60         ≠            one decillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 10
 = 
  10 33
  one undecillion
 = 
  Million 11
 = 
  10 66         ≠            one undecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 11
 = 
  10 36
  one duodecillion
 = 
  Million 12
 = 
  10 72         ≠            one duodecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 12
 = 
  10 39
  one tredecillion
 = 
  Million 13
 = 
  10 78         ≠            one tredecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 13
 = 
  10 42
  one quattuordecillion
 = 
  Million 14
 = 
  10 84         ≠            one quattuordecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 14
 = 
  10 45
  one quindecillion
 = 
  Million 15
 = 
  10 90         ≠            one quindecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 15
 = 
  10 48
  one sexdecillion
 = 
  Million 16
 = 
  10 96         ≠            one sexdecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 16
 = 
  10 51
  one septendecillion
 = 
  Million 17
 = 
  10102         ≠            one septendecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 17
 = 
  10 54
  one octodecillion
 = 
  Million 18
 = 
  10108         ≠            one octodecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 18
 = 
  10 57
  one novendecillion
 = 
  Million 19
 = 
  10114         ≠            one novendecillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 19
 = 
  10 60
  one vigintillion
 = 
  Million 20
 = 
  10120          ≠            one vigentillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000 20
 = 
  10 63 
  one centillion
 = 
  Million100
 = 
  10600         ≠            one centillion
 = 
  1000 * 1000100
 = 
  10303 

See also

Notes

  1. In 1974 the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced to the House of Commons that from now on British government statistics would abandon the use of "billion" for 1012 and adopt the American usage 109 to reduce confusion in the financial markets.
  2. Most of these number names are not used in ordinary writing. The "-illion"s above "quintillion" are almost nowhere to be seen, except perhaps in lists of number names such as this one. Larger numbers are referred to as powers of ten using scientific notation, for instance, as "1025" (read "ten to the twenty-five"), etc. This avoids the ambiguity that these -illion words produce. "Googol", however, is not uncommonly used for rough approximations.

External links

  • English name of a number CGI script that will return the name of a number (in American English) for any decimal number entered, no matter how large.

Indian English additionally uses the words lakh and crore to denote 100 thousand (lakh) or ten million (crore, i.e. 100 lakhs). e.g.,

  • Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
  • "Faced with the worst drought conditions in three decades, the Andhra Pradesh government has asked for an assistance of Rs 2160 crore from the central government..."