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Which is correct?

The molecular weight of this substance ranges from

  1. two hundred to two hundred and sixty.
  2. two hundreds to two hundred and sixty.

I need to spell the numbers out for some reasons and I'm stuck. Thank you for your help!

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  • Hundred is singular. You would use the plural if, for example, you were counting currency ("that's two hundreds, one fifty, three twenties, a ten, and four ones").
    – fixer1234
    Jul 24, 2017 at 1:24
  • If you thought "two hundreds" was OK, why not "two hundreds and sixty". You are not consistent.
    – user3169
    Jul 24, 2017 at 1:40
  • Also you don't need and unless you are adding numbers.
    – user3169
    Jul 24, 2017 at 1:42
  • You say two hundred, not two hundreds. You don't adgh
    – Khan
    Jul 24, 2017 at 2:27
  • @fixer1234 Thank you! Your answer prompted me to read my dictionaries again. With your comment in mind, I understand the definitions more. "Hundred" is a singular noun. That's simple! Jul 24, 2017 at 2:36

1 Answer 1

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There are two ways to use any number word in English.

The first is as a cardinal number. In this case, it's invariable. It doesn't show the plural.

A hundred and five cows.

Two thousand is more than I expected.

Forty million, seven hundred thousand and sixty-three accounts have been opened.

The second use is as a common noun, with the meaning "batch of N". This use is countable, and it does show the plural.

There are hundreds of people here.
→ There are several hundred people here.

Dozens of species go extinct every day.
→ Several dozen species go extinct every day.

We spend billions of dollars on national defence.
→ We spend several billion of dollars on national defence.

Even small numbers can be counted this way.

They left the building in twos and threes.
→They left the building in groups of two and in groups of three.

There are a few other quirks to how we use number words, but those are the broad strokes.

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  • 1
    Your answer helps. So, the first one applies to my case, and cardinal numbers are invariable. Thank you so much!! Jul 24, 2017 at 3:31

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