Numbers and Counting: Large Numbers


Building on our previous lessons on numbers, this week we’ll discuss how to express numbers ranging from 1,000,000 to 999,999,999,999,999. We’ll also share some shortcuts that can make writing very large numbers more manageable.


If you need more help with numbers or any other aspect of the English language, contact the English Island in Atlanta. Our passionate, dedicated ESL teachers can create a lesson plan that is tailored to your individual needs.



7, 8, and 9 digit numbers are expressed in terms of millions, tens of millions, and hundreds of millions, respectively:


1,000,000 One million 10,000,000 Ten million 100,000,000 One hundred million
2,000,000 Two million 20,000,000 Twenty million 200,000,000 Two hundred million
3,000,000 Three million 30,000,000 Thirty million 300,000,000 Three hundred million
4,000,000 Four million 40,000,000 Forty million 400,000,000 Four hundred million
5,000,000 Five million 50,000,000 Fifty million 500,000,000 Five hundred million
6,000,000 Six million 60,000,000 Sixty million 600,000,000 Six hundred million


7,000,000 Seven million 70,000,000 Seventy million 700,000,000 Seven hundred million
8,000,000 Eight million 80,000,000 Eighty million 800,000,000 Eight hundred million
9,000,000 Nine million 90,000,000 Ninety million 900,000,000 Nine hundred million




For 10, 11, and 12 digit numbers, use billions, tens of billions, and hundreds of billions:


1,000,000,000 One billion 10,000,000,000 Ten billion 100,000,000,000 One hundred billion
2,000,000,000 Two billion 20,000,000,000 Twenty billion 200,000,000,000 Two hundred billion
3,000,000,000 Three billion 30,000,000,000 Thirty billion 300,000,000,000 Three hundred billion
4,000,000,000 Four billion 40,000,000,000 Forty billion 400,000,000,000 Four hundred billion
5,000,000,000 Five billion 50,000,000,000 Fifty billion 500,000,000,000 Five hundred billion
6,000,000,000 Six billion 60,000,000,000 Sixty billion 600,000,000,000 Six hundred billion
7,000,000,000 Seven billion 70,000,000,000 Seventy billion 700,000,000,000 Seven hundred billion
8,000,000,000 Eight billion 80,000,000,000 Eighty billion 800,000,000,000 Eight hundred billion
9,000,000,000 Nine billion 90,000,000,000 Ninety billion 900,000,000,000 Nine hundred billion




13, 14, and 15 digit numbers are “named” in trillions, tens of trillions, and hundreds of trillions:


1,000,000,000,000 One trillion 10,000,000,000,000 Ten trillion
2,000,000,000,000 Two trillion 20,000,000,000,000 Twenty trillion
3,000,000,000,000 Three trillion 30,000,000,000,000 Thirty trillion
4,000,000,000,000 Four trillion 40,000,000,000,000 Forty trillion
5,000,000,000,000 Five trillion 50,000,000,000,000 Fifty trillion
6,000,000,000,000 Six trillion 60,000,000,000,000 Sixty trillion
7,000,000,000,000 Seven trillion 70,000,000,000,000 Seventy trillion
8,000,000,000,000 Eight billion 80,000,000,000,000 Eighty trillion
9,000,000,000,000 Nine trillion 90,000,000,000,000 Ninety trillion


100,000,000,000,000 One hundred trillion
200,000,000,000,000 Two hundred trillion
300,000,000,000,000 Three hundred trillion
400,000,000,000,000 Four hundred trillion
500,000,000,000,000 Five hundred trillion
600,000,000,000,000 Six hundred trillion
700,000,000,000,000 Seven hundred trillion
800,000,000,000,000 Eight hundred trillion
900,000,000,000,000 Nine hundred trillion



By combining everything we have learned in our numbers lessons, we can count all the way to 999,999,999,999,999. Here are just a few examples:




five million three hundred four
20,747,919 twenty million seven hundred forty-seven thousand nine hundred nineteen
1,034,657,382 one billion thirty-four million six hundred fifty-seven thousand three hundred eighty-two
600,523,896,000 six hundred  billion five hundred twenty-three million eight hundred ninety-six thousand
999,999,999,999,999 nine hundred ninety-nine trillion nine hundred ninety-nine billion nine hundred ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine


As you can see, expressing large numbers in English can be very complicated. To make writing large numbers easier, you can combine Arabic numerals (1,2,3…) and cardinal numbers (the words we have learned). For example, 28,000,000 can be written as 28 million. 3,700,000,000 can be shortened to 3.7 billion.


In situations where absolute accuracy is not important, native English speakers will often round large numbers for the sake of clarity and concision. According to recent estimates, the Atlanta metropolitan area has 5,522,942 residents. Rather than trying to write this entire number out, you can say that Metro Atlanta has over 5.5 million, about 5.5 million, or just 5.5 million residents.