I need to describe the following set of numbers as simply as possible. 12345-12345678

The problem is that the first number is always a five-digit number but the length of the second number can be between 1 to 8 digits.

This is what I came up with:

This is the number consisting of two numbers (the first is always a five-digit number but the second can have up to eight digits).

I think this is a bit long and clumsy. I was wondering if somebody could provide any suggestions.

  • 1
    "This is the number consisting of two numbers ...", you mean "this is the set"?
    – DialFrost
    Apr 20, 2022 at 12:52
  • 1
    Ah ok I could have said "This is a set (a pair) of numbers."
    – user154167
    Apr 20, 2022 at 12:55
  • 5
    Part of the issue is that the thing you're describing isn't really a "number" - proper numbers don't include a dash unless they're otherwise qualified as a "serial number" or a "phone number" or something like that. It would reduce confusion if you could use the full name for the code or identifier or whatever it is that is composed of two numbers (the proper full name would depend on your application). Apr 20, 2022 at 12:59
  • Got it! Good point! Thank you
    – user154167
    Apr 20, 2022 at 13:18

2 Answers 2


Your trouble is that 12345-12345678 isn't "a number". It is two numbers, which might mean something or identify something. It might be a code, an identifier, or a reference.

As soon as you don't call this "a number" the clumsiness goes.

This code is formed of a five-digit number, followed by a number of up to eight digits.

  • Thank you so much!
    – user154167
    Apr 20, 2022 at 13:19

This is a [set/pair] consisting of two numbers, the first always having a five-digit number and the second having up to eight digits.

I think this might flow better and sound nicer!


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