# School numbers: How to read them

How should I read the school number? Should I say

1) school five two three
2) school five twenty-three
3) school five hundred and twenty-three

... or some other way?

• I don't think this question is Primarily Opinion-Based. If there's more than one acceptable way to read it, that should be posted as an answer, not as a misuse of the POB close reason.
– user230
Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 14:14
• Not opinion-based, but contextually-based - use whatever convention is established by the school authorities. For example, in NYC, one reads it as a single number (e.g., EYE ESS ONE THIRTY ONE) rather than as a digit sequence (not EYE ESS ONE THREE ONE) - but in some other jurisdiction, it may be read as a sequence of individual digits. It may depend in part on how the numbers are established. Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 11:42

If you have a bad connection, "five two three". That's a somewhat general rule for any number if it might be difficult to understand: say the individual digits.

Generally, numbers above 100 have some digits said individually, or grouped in pairs. So one would usually say "I went to PS [public school] five twenty-three." Or, "...fifty-five twenty-three" (5523). "...five fifty-five twenty-three" (55523) and so on. Avoid saying the word "hundred" or "thousand", if possible. [EDIT] One exception to that: for numbers where there are no more than 2 leading digits followed by zeros, people frequently do say "hundred" or "thousand", "million", etc: "eleven hundred", "twenty-five thousand", "four million", "7 billion".

The reason for that is that, cognitively, it takes us longer to "figure out" a large number when expressed as one unit ("fifty-five thousand, five hundred and twenty-three") than when chunked ("five fifty-five twenty-three") (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chunking_(psychology))

How to express numbers with 6 or more digits is less well-defined.

• You might want to document. Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 15:48