Talking About Figures

Talking about figures

When discussing interest rates and monetary policy, you need to know how to say decimal numbers.
English uses a symbol like a full stop between the two parts of a decimal number. It is called a decimal point. A comma is not used in this position. In a pure number (without a unit of measurement), each digit after the decimal point is said separately.

3.5    three point five
3.51   three point five one (not three point fifty-one)
3.14159  three point one four one five nine
3.75%   three point seven five percent

However, if the number after a decimal represents a unit of money, length, etc., it is usually read as a normal number.

$5.61    five dollars sixty-one (cents)
1.22 m    one metre twenty-two (centimetres)

0 is called zero or (mainly in British English) nought. British English also uses oh, but only after the decimal point, never before.

11.005    eleven point oh oh five (or eleven point double oh five)
0.501      zero / nought point five oh one
0.001     zero / nought point oh oh one (or zero / nought point double oh one)

1. Read the following sentences out loud:

1. Right now, the euro’s worth $1.0829.

2. That’s up 0.00094 from yesterday.

3. The Bank of England’s base rate is 3.75%.

4. 0.001 is also called ten to the power minus 3.

5. The share’s trading at $5.41.

2. Listen to the ten sentences on the recording, and write down the figures you hear.

3. Read the task and answer the question. You might need the following words:

  • Inflation; rate; consume; incentive; demand; supply; threats; implement a policy; remunerate.






4. Place the word in a  correct form.

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