Conventions for Writing and Saying Numbers

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Thank you to faculty member Swati Juthani for pointing out the differences in number conventions between Canadian and Indian English.  Your students from India may be making mental adjustments for the first while when listening to or reading the higher numbers.

Here is a chart that Swati and I put together. I wrote a list of English numbers, and Swati showed what the equivalent would be in Indian English.

  Canadian English convention Indian English convention
Notation 1 through 100 Same
Terminology One through one hundred Same
Notation 1,000 Same
Terminology One thousand Same
Notation  2,500 Same
Terminology Two thousand, five hundred
twenty-five hundred
Two thousand, five hundred only.
Another one is not used
Notation 20,000 Same
Terminology Twenty thousand Same
Notation 22,000 Same
Terminology Twenty-two thousand Same
Notation 100,000 1,00,000
Terminology One hundred thousand One lakh
Notation 125,000 1,25,000
Terminology One hundred twenty-five thousand One lakh, twenty-five thousand
Notation 1,000,000 10,00,000
Terminology One million Ten lakhs
Notation 10,000,000  1,00,00,000
Terminology 10 million One crore
Sometimes called one hundred lakh
Notation   1,000,000,000 (not written with zeros as it creates visual / counting issue of zeros)
Terminology  One billion  One hundred crore or ten thousand lakh

Laura Stoutenburg

A college professor and accredited TESL trainer for more than 20 years, Laura Stoutenburg, holding an M.A., has taught and developed curricula for a variety of topics, with her work including language assessment in China and Canada. Before joining Teaching and Learning as a consultant, Laura coordinated Conestoga’s TESL Certificate and English Language Studies programs. She specializes in matters related to Intercultural Teaching and language acquisition, and is available at the Kitchener Downtown Campus.

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