0

How would you read

'1593 129th St SE Bluebird CA 92193'?

Is it 'one-five-nine-three, one hundred twenty ninth'?
Or is it 'fifteen hundred ninety three, one hundred twenty ninth'?

1
  • Personally I would read it (and say it) "fifteen ninety-three, one-twenty-ninth street." There are probably a lot of regional variations though. – randomhead Apr 12 at 21:55
1

There's no single correct way to read a street address aloud. Every person has a particular style they prefer, and the same person might use different formats for different addresses or in different circumstances.

That said, a four-digit street number—which is probably the most common length in most parts of the country outside New England—is commonly read as if the first two and the last two digits were separate numbers, thus fifteen ninety-three. One five nine three would be unremarkable, however, and may even be more common if dictating an address to someone. Numbers ending in zeroes may be spoken as if numbers, thus the White House is sixteen hundred Pennsylvania Avenue, but only in extremely rare, highly formal circumstances would one ever say or write one thousand five hundred ninety-three.

The rest of the address is largely up to personal style. The street could be

  • a hundred and twenty-ninth street southeast
  • one hundred and twenty-ninth street southeast
  • one hundred twenty-ninth street southeast
  • one twenty-ninth street southeast

Abbreviations are always pronounced in full, for street type (street, road, avenue, boulevard, terrace, drive, circle, etc.), street direction (southeast in this case), unit type (apartment, suite, unit, box—except pee oh box for post office boxes) and for the state or territory.

The ZIP code is usually read out digit-by-digit, again especially when dictating it to someone. Some may, for example, prefer to mark repeated digits to avoid confusion or awkward pronunciation—90049 becoming nine double-oh four nine because nine oh oh four nine is indistinct.

0

Both of the examples you gave are correct, and are completely up to personal preference. I find that the first example works best when talking to someone over the phone for clarity.

A couple caveats that you may already know:

The rule only apples to the first part. The second part (129th) can never be "one two nineth."

"St" must always be said out loud as "street". "SE" must always be said out loud as "Southeast." "CA" must always be "California."

Zip code must always be "Nine two one nine three," never "Ninety two thousand, one hundred ninety three."

In other words, the first part is the only one you have a personal choice in. The rest of the address has fixed rules, which are different for each part.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.