Numbers and You
Most people working in finance, whether it is in accountancy, banking, broking, investment, insurance, or whatever, spend a lot of time dealing with numbers. Reading, hearing, saying, writing, numbers in a foreign language generally requires practice.
When do you need to work with numbers
1. I work in …
2. I need the English of Finance for …
I regularly read numbers in English in: 1. textbooks 1. newspapers 3. magazines and journals
3. magazines and journals
5. company documents
I hear numbers spoken in English when …
I have to use numbers in English:
1. in the classroom
2. in meetings
3. on the phone
in order to: …
Tick which of the following you have to do in English:
1. buy goods or services over the telephone
2. describe graphs
3. discuss accounts
4. discuss customers' bank accounts
5. discuss projects with colleagues
6. discuss the market price of securities
7. draw up budgets
8. negotiate with producers, customers, brokers, etc.
9. present accounts and results to managers, colleagues
10. present products or services to customer
I1. sell products or services over the phone talk with technicians
The stress is on the cent of per cent ten percent
Notice the following when talking about interest rates:
0.5% a half of one per cent
0.25% a quarter of a percentage point
The Bank of England raised interest rates this morning by a quarter of a percentage point.
Now say the following:
1. What's 30% of 260?
2. They have put the rate up by another 0.5%.
3. 0.75% won't make a lot of difference.
HUNDREDS*, THOUSANDS, AND MILLIONS
In British English you hear a hundred and twenty three. •-., •
In American English you usually hear a hundred twenty three.
The number 1,999 is said one thousand nine hundred and ninety7 nine.
The year 1999 is said nineteen ninety nine.
The year 2000 is said the year two thousand.
The year 2001 is said two thousand and one
The year 2015 is said two thousand and fifteen or twenty7 fifteen.
Note: It is likely that different people will refer to the early years of the 21st century7 in different ways.
Remember that the year 1066 is always referred to as ten sixty six - not one thousand and sixty six.
1,000,000 is a million or ten to the power six. (10°)
1,000,ОО0,000 is a billion or ten to the power nine. (109)
This is now common usage.
British English used to be that a billion was ten to the power twelve (1012),
but now everyone has accepted the current American usage.
Now say the following:
1. Why do you say 175 in Britain? In the States we usually 175.
2. It's got 1001 different uses.
3. Profit? will have doubled by the year 2000.
4. Thanks. You're one in 1,000,000!
5. No, that's 2,000,000,000 not 2,000,000!