The health provider will get $20 million from the Abbott Government to staff a 100 bed hospital in Sierra Leone. (here is the audio) (from Aussie ABC)

I don’t hear clearly how the presenter is saying this number, 100. ‘a-hundred’ or ‘hundred’. I hear the latter. But the presenter might be saying ‘to staffa a-hundred,’ not ‘to staff a hundred.’ How do you read the number, 100? ‘A-hundred’ or ‘hundred’? If it was 200, would you read ‘to staff a two-hundred’?

3 Answers 3


... to staff a 100-bed hospital ...

This could be said either as "a one-hundred-bed hospital" or more simply, "a hundred-bed hospital". The second was what the announcer in your clip said.

We can have a 200-bed hospital, "a two-hundred-bed hospital". Indeed, we can use any number there. The 'a' is necessary, The 'one' before numbers beginning with one hundred/thousand (100, 110, 175, 1,000, etc) is optional.

  • To use and articulate a **one-hundred-bed hospital** is to emphasize.
    – dockeryZ
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 0:39

To use and articulate a one-hundred-bed hospital is to emphasize, while saying a hundred is very passive.

Apparently this hundred-bed hospital is not to big of a deal. It nearly sounds like the presenter is indicating some kind of experiment; an experiment funded by Abbott.


Abbott gave ONE Hundred Million Dollars to charity! That is quite a lot of money!


Abbott gave a hundred million dollars to charity. He couldn't think of anything else to spend it on.


You can use either "a one-hundred" or "a hundred". I am not aware of any prescribed grammar in this circumstance. Maybe because it has become an all too familiar usage.

But, just to be analytical: "a—used as a function word before singular nouns when the referent is unspecified and before number collectives and some numbers "

Technically, 'a' in this circumstance is an indefinite article (singular). Which means it can be any 'hundred', not a specific 'hundred.'

Where these examples refer to a specific hundred: 1.) This hundred bed hospital. 2.) That hundred bed hospital. 3.) Your hundred bed hospital.

'One-hundred bed hospital' itself does not refer to a specific or non-specific one-hundred bed hospital. It only really creates an lexicon image.

One is not required before hundred because in this case (and most all cases) hundred is a noun. Just the same as any other noun, it is understood already as '1' singular. (Cat or One Cat, bed or one bed)

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