Okay 5-digit numbers like 27565 are often read as "twenty-seven five sixty-five" when, for instance, telling people what mileage your car has, but what about those where the second digit is a zero like "20565"? "twenty five sixty-five" sounds like "2565", which is a different number.

# Reading 5-digit numbers.

It typically just depends on the person saying it. Like zip codes in the US are usually read one number at a time (seven five two three one, seven zero eight zero eight, nine two one one one, etc.).

<<It typically just depends on the person saying it. Like zip codes in the US are usually read one number at a time (seven five two three one, seven zero eight zero eight, nine two one one one, etc.).>>

I know how zip codes are read. I'm not talking about zip codes or house numbers with 5 digits.

I know how zip codes are read. I'm not talking about zip codes or house numbers with 5 digits.

<<but what about those where the second digit is a zero like "20565"? "twenty five sixty-five" sounds like "2565", which is a different number.>>

What about those? Is there a specific question in there? It sounds like you're already familiar with how these numbers are read, so what is it you want to know?

What about those? Is there a specific question in there? It sounds like you're already familiar with how these numbers are read, so what is it you want to know?

>> Okay 5-digit numbers like 27565 are often read as "twenty-seven five sixty-five" when, for instance, telling people what mileage your car has, but what about those where the second digit is a zero like "20565"? "twenty five sixty-five" sounds like "2565", which is a different number. <<

The "twenty-seven five sixty-five" is just a convenient way to read 27565. Obviously this method does not work when a zero is the second digit, so a native speaker would automatically read it out as either twenty thousand five hundred... Or simply "spell" it out like a zip code. It is highly unlikely that a native English speaker would read it as "2565", so there is little chance of ambiguity.

The "twenty-seven five sixty-five" is just a convenient way to read 27565. Obviously this method does not work when a zero is the second digit, so a native speaker would automatically read it out as either twenty thousand five hundred... Or simply "spell" it out like a zip code. It is highly unlikely that a native English speaker would read it as "2565", so there is little chance of ambiguity.

<<Obviously this method does not work when a zero is the second digit>>

Well except in the case of "10" (ten).

Well except in the case of "10" (ten).

<<Okay 5-digit numbers like 27565 are often read as "twenty-seven five sixty-five" when, for instance, telling people what mileage your car has, but what about those where the second digit is a zero like "20565"? "twenty five sixty-five" sounds like "2565", which is a different number.>>

I think if that's the case, most people would say each digit individually to avoid ambiguity.

I think if that's the case, most people would say each digit individually to avoid ambiguity.

<<telling people what mileage your car has,>>

In that case you ought to read the number properly in full because this is an actual quantity (not just some random string of digits) which is very relevant to the discussion.

In that case you ought to read the number properly in full because this is an actual quantity (not just some random string of digits) which is very relevant to the discussion.

If you're talking about mileage and someone reads each digit individually, people will have to actually 'translate' your string of digits into an actual number in order for it to have some meaning for them.

Think about it, if it is a large quantity, native speakers tend to say the full number:

My car has seventy-five thousand two hundred and twenty-two miles on it. I played twenty thousand five hundred and five dollars for it. My house is estimated to be worth three hundred and fifty-seven thousand dollars.

If the number is not a quantity--in other words a UPC code, a VIN number, etc. that has little to no substantive meaning to the average person--we simply read off the numbers if it does not fit well into a double or triple digit break down.

My car has seventy-five thousand two hundred and twenty-two miles on it. I played twenty thousand five hundred and five dollars for it. My house is estimated to be worth three hundred and fifty-seven thousand dollars.

If the number is not a quantity--in other words a UPC code, a VIN number, etc. that has little to no substantive meaning to the average person--we simply read off the numbers if it does not fit well into a double or triple digit break down.

<<If the number is not a quantity--in other words a UPC code, a VIN number, etc. that has little to no substantive meaning to the average person--we simply read off the numbers if it does not fit well into a double or triple digit break down.>>

That's interesting. I'm a native speaker. For "I weigh 140" we often say "I weigh one forty", however, if the word "pounds" is included after, we say "one hundred and forty".

"I weigh 140" = "I weigh one forty" / "I weigh one hundred and forty"

"I weigh 140 pounds" = *"I weigh one forty pounds" / "I weigh one hundred and forty pounds"

That's interesting. I'm a native speaker. For "I weigh 140" we often say "I weigh one forty", however, if the word "pounds" is included after, we say "one hundred and forty".

"I weigh 140" = "I weigh one forty" / "I weigh one hundred and forty"

"I weigh 140 pounds" = *"I weigh one forty pounds" / "I weigh one hundred and forty pounds"

This is a typical UK telephone number:

01956-446207 (It's OK - it's not a real number, as that particular code doesn't exist anyway).

The first five digits represent the area code in the UK. The following number is the actual telephone number. You only need to dial the code if you are dialling from outside the code area.

Invariably people here would state the number as: Oh (or perhaps zero) one nine five six four four (or double four) six two oh (or zero) seven.

01956-446207 (It's OK - it's not a real number, as that particular code doesn't exist anyway).

The first five digits represent the area code in the UK. The following number is the actual telephone number. You only need to dial the code if you are dialling from outside the code area.

Invariably people here would state the number as: Oh (or perhaps zero) one nine five six four four (or double four) six two oh (or zero) seven.

<<That's interesting. I'm a native speaker. For "I weigh 140" we often say "I weigh one forty", however, if the word "pounds" is included after, we say "one hundred and forty".>>

But that generally doesn't work with five-digit or larger quantities (e.g the 747 weights eight seventy-five). I don't think many people would want to get on that flight.

But that generally doesn't work with five-digit or larger quantities (e.g the 747 weights eight seventy-five). I don't think many people would want to get on that flight.