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Reading and Writing Whole Numbers

The set of whole numbers includes 0 and all the positive whole digits.

Whole Numbers = {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}

Every whole number is composed of at least one of the ten digits of the decimal number system.  The ten digits are 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9.  We use these ten digits to form all whole numbers.

In a whole number each digit has a place and a value.  To determine the place value of a particular digit in a number, use the following chart:

Trillions Billions Millions Thousands Ones
Hundred trillions Ten trillions Trillions Hundred billions Ten billions Billions Hundred millions Ten millions Millions Hundred thousands Ten thousands Thousands Hundreds Tens Ones
    9 3 0 2 3 7 5 1 2 6 8 8 4
  Ư    The 7 is in the ten millions place  

When writing whole numbers, use commas to separate each group of three digits.  Numbers are easier to read when commas are used. Sometimes commas are omitted in 4- digit numbers, but they should always be used for numbers of 5 or more digits.

When reading a number with more than three digits, start on the left.  Read the digits in each period followed by the period name.  Do not use the “ones” period name.

So, 78,436,571 is read
        seventy-eight million,
        four hundred thirty-six thousand,
        five hundred seventy-one                                                                                                     

7,892   is read seven thousand, eight hundred ninety-two.

23,000,057,009 is read twenty-three billion, fifty-seven thousand, nine.

Never use the word “and” when reading or writing whole numbers.  “And” is used with decimal numbers to show placement of the decimal point.

Try these problems on your own. Click on the right answer.

Write the following number in words:   12,023,476

Twelve million, zero hundred twenty-three, four hundred seventy-six
Twelve millions, twenty-three thousands, four hundred seventy-six
Twelve million, twenty-three thousand, four hundred seventy-six
Ten and two millions, twenty and three thousands, four hundred seventy-six

Next Lesson: Addition of Whole Numbers
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