1

https://youtu.be/ioldoJQYKyQ?t=155 teaches us that 205 can be read as two o five.

Then how do I read 2,000,005, a number with multiple 0 in the middle?

two million o o o o o five or simply two million o five?

how about two million five? two million and five?

From Practical English Usage section 322.9, "and" after hundred/thousand/million is optional in American English, but will two million five be mistaken as 2,500,000 as in https://youtu.be/B9htc8x6dUE?t=607 ?

Hotel Hell, Season 2, Episode 1

Gordon: How much did it cost?

Cali: one point two million dollars, and that's what I purchased it for

Gordon: How much did you spend converting?

Cali: another one point two

...

Cali: it turned into 14 months and a million two to do it

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  • No, two million five will not be confused with two million five hundred thousand (or two and a half million). Sep 12, 2022 at 7:54
  • @KateBunting "Cali: it turned into 14 months and a million two to do it", so it's 1,000,002? It doesn't match with what she said seconds ago.
    – Gqqnbig
    Sep 12, 2022 at 8:28

2 Answers 2

2

two million o o o o o five

Native speakers don't say this. There are several problems with it, including the fact that it would be too cumbersome to pronounce all of those o's and it would be easy to lose track of the exact number of o's as you were saying them.

or simply two million o five?

Native speakers don't say this, either. There is no reason to indicate one 0 but not the others. Furthermore, it might be misinterpreted as 2,000,000.05.

how about two million five?

This is used but might be considered a bit more casual or cursory than the next option. It might mean 2,500,000 in some contexts (as in your quotation from Hotel Hell), but not usually.1

two million and five?

This is very common and standard.


1 2,500,000 would usually be pronounced as "two million five-hundred thousand". When written as 2.5 million it would commonly be pronounced as "two point five million".

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  • Here in the US, I feel like "two million five" is more common than "two million and five" (and I was taught in school not to use and) but I don't know how to research it.
    – stangdon
    Sep 12, 2022 at 11:23
  • and five means times one added to the previous words or two separate values from simple math equivalence. Sep 12, 2022 at 11:56
  • 2,500,005 would be expanded Sep 12, 2022 at 11:58
  • 1
    I need a comparison with the quotation from Hotel Hell and you did it. Thank you.
    – Gqqnbig
    Sep 13, 2022 at 8:52
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how about two million five? two million and five?

The latter is correct with "and".

Too many "oh's.

"oh" is a common slang maybe to reduce the number of syllables. It was famously used for the fictional British secret agent "double-oh seven" but not "oh-oh seven". "Oh" is also used on the middle digit in highway numbers and perhaps others.

It does cause database errors that are defined to recognize text or just numbers when counting or matching must avoid errors.

"oh" is also used in ceramic types for high-stability RF electronic capacitors called NP0 (zero) and C0G (zero) where "oh" is always said. This is a mistake if written as "oh", but understood verbally. The zero stands for a temperature coefficient.

It could be said as "two oh-oh-oh oh-oh-five" if you were casual, or "two million plus five" for clarity as an incremental distinction to a 7 figure number.

But "two million and five" is the correct syntax when expecting a single value.

"two million five" uses the multiplier to replace the decimal point with a power of ten so it would mean two point five million. Similarly, the values of passive resistors use the same abbreviation. e.g. 3M3 is 3.3 megohms (or sometimes written as megohms) and 2k5 is 2.5 kilohms.

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  • Can you check the second Youtube link? The owner said a million two while seconds ago she said one point two million. Also why doesn't "oh" work here?
    – Gqqnbig
    Sep 12, 2022 at 7:02
  • We usually say 'oh' only when referring to decimal places - '1.05 = one point oh five'. Sep 12, 2022 at 7:56
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    @KateBunting In our (accounting related) office we always say 'zero' when dictating a figure for exact transcription after an series of errors caused by a new person typing capital letter Os into spreadsheets. Sep 12, 2022 at 8:02
  • @KateBunting In AmE we often say "oh" without decimal places: "the four-oh-five" (a highway in California), "English one-oh-one" (an introductory college course), and many others. Sep 12, 2022 at 10:43
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    In school in the US, I was taught never to use "and" in cases like this, because it can cause confusion between "2000005" and two separate numbers, "2000000" and "5". Informally, you do sometimes hear people say it, though.
    – stangdon
    Sep 12, 2022 at 11:21

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