Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

### Writing Numbers in Words

```
Date: 10/15/97 at 22:16:20
From: Leah Faye Songalia
Subject: Numbers in words

Write each number in words: 1) 73.78007 2) 2.900087 (3) 34.4939.
```

```
Date: 10/24/97 at 18:25:59
From: Doctor Sonya
Subject: Re: Numbers in words

Dear Leah,

The key to writing numbers in words is knowing the name of the place
where each digit is. For example, the number 461 has a 4 in the
"hundreds" place, a 6 in the "tens" place, and a 1 in the "ones"
place.

Have you learned about place value in school yet? Place value is the
key to this problem. Using our above example, 461 in words is:

4 hundreds (400) plus
6 tens (60) plus
1 ones (1).

We change this around a little bit so that it is in standard English,
and we get "four hundred sixty-one". (Remember that 6 tens is sixty.)

The question you are asking us is a little bit more complicated,
because it has decimals in it and so you also have to worry about the
names of the places after the decimal point. Let's take some decimals.
I choose 4.337829. Here are the names of the places. I'll put a star
in each place I'm talking about:

4.*37829    tenths place
4.3*7829    hundredths place
4.33*829    thousandths palce
4.337*29    ten thousandth place
4.3378*9    hundred thousandths place
4.33782*    millionths place

Do you see a pattern here?

Remember that a decimal is just another way of writing a fraction.
For example:

0.3 is really 3/10

In words, 3/10 is "three tenths," so 0.3 is also called "three
tenths," and the 3 is in the "tenths" place.

The same is true for 0.33 = 33/100.  Can you figure our what 33/100 is
in words?

Let's try to do one of the examples you sent us:

73.78007

1) First, what's before the decimal point? You know what that is:
it's seventy-three.

2) Now for after the decimal point. The first thing you have to do is
figure out how to say the number as if the decimal point weren't
there.

4.9832 --> 9832 --> nine thousand eight hundred thirty-two
0.364  -->  364 --> three hundred sixty-four

In our example, 73.78007 --> 78007 --> seventy-eight thousand seven.

3) The next step is to figure out what the name of the smallest place
(the place farthest to the right) is.  In our number, it's the
hundred thousandths place.

4) Finally, you say the whole number after the decimal, followed by
the name of this place:

seventy-eight thousand seven hundred thousandths

This is the way to say everything after the decimal.

5) Now that we know how to say everything before the decimal and after
the decimal, we just have to connect it with an "and":

"seventy-three" and "seventy-eight thousand seven" hundred
thousandths.

Now you can do your other examples the same way.

I hope this helps.  I haven't explained everything completely, so
write us back if you have any questions.

-Doctor Sonya,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Elementary Number Sense/About Numbers
Elementary Place Value
Middle School Number Sense/About Numbers

Search the Dr. Math Library:

 Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):   Click only once for faster results: [ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.] all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/