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1.

HOW TO READ AND WRITE


WHOLE NUMBERS
THE POWERS OF 10
What are the ten digits?
The ten symbols: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Examples.
105 is a three-digit number. The digits are 1, 0,
and 5.
28 ends in the digit 8.
$364 has the same digits as $3.64.
Those ten marks are also known as the Arabic
numerals, because it was the Arab mathematicians
who introduced them into Europe from India,
where their forms evolved.
The powers of 10
Number Ten is a collection of ten Ones.
One Hundred is a collection of ten Tens.

The number we call One Thousand is a


collection of ten One Hundreds.

Ten One Thousands are called Ten Thousand.


The numbers in that sequence are called
the powers of 10.
2. Which numbers are the powers of 10?
They are the numbers produced when, starting
with One, we repeatedly collect them into
groups of 10.
10 Ones. 10 Tens. 10 Hundreds. 10
Thousands.
And so on.

Here are their names and numerals.


The Powers of 10
Class of

One

Ones

Ten

10

Hundred

100

Class of

One thousand

1,000

Thousands

Ten thousand

10,000

Hundred thousand

100,000

Class of

One million

1,000,000

Millions

Ten million

10,000,000

Hundred million

100,000,000

Class of

One billion

1,000,000,000

Billions

Ten billion

10,000,000,000

Hundred billion

100,000,000,000

Each power is composed of ten of the one


above.
(The metric system is the system of
measurement based on the powers of 10; see
. The first power of 10 is 10 itself. Its numeral
is a 1 followed by one 0. The second power of 10
is 100; it has two 0's. The third power has three
0's. And so on.
Notice how the names fall into groups of three:
d thousand.
lion.

One thousand, Ten thousand, Hundre


One million, Ten million, Hundred mil

Each group of three -- Ones, Tens, Hundreds -- is


called a class.

Starting with Billions (bi for two), each class


has a Latin prefix. To read a number more easily,
we separate each class -- each group of three
digits -- by commas.
Note that each class is 1000 times the
previous class; the Thousands are
1000 times the Ones; the Millions are
1000 times the Thousands; and so
on.
we showed how to read and write any number
from 1 to 999, which are the numbers in the class
of Ones. Together with knowing the sequence of
class names, that is all that is necessary to be able
to name or read any whole number.
4. How do we read a whole number, however
large?
256,312,785,649,408,163
Starting from the left, read each three-digit

group; then say the name of its class.


Example 1. Read this number:
256,312,785,649,408,163
Answer. Starting from the left, 256, read each
three-digit group. Then say the name of the class.

Say:
"256 Quadrillion, 312 Trillion, 785 Billion, 649
Million, 408 Thousand, 163."
Do not say the class name "Ones."
Example 2. To distinguish the classes, place
commas in this number:
8792456
Answer. Starting from the right, place commas
every three digits:
8,792,456
Read the number:
"8 million, 792 thousand, 456."
Example 3. Read this number: 7,000,020,002
Answer. "Seven billion , twenty thousand, two."
When a class is absent, we do not say its name;
we do not say, "Seven billion, no million, ..."
Also, every class has three digits and so we
must distinguish the following:

002
020
200

"Two"
"Twenty"
"Two hundred"
As for "and," in speech it is common to say "Six
hundred and nine," but in writing we should
reserve "and" for the decimal point, as we will see
in the next Lesson. (For example, we should write
$609.50 as "Six hundred nine dollars and fifty
cents." Not "Six hundred and nine dollars.")
Example 4. Write in numerals:
Four hundred eight million, twentynine thousand, three hundred fifty-six.
Answer. Pick out the classes:
"million", "thousand". Each class (except
perhaps the first class on the left) has exactly
three digits:

Example 5. Write in numerals:


Five billion, sixteen thousand, nine.
Answer. After the billions, we expect the millions,
but it is absent. Therefore write
5,000,016,009
Again, we must write "sixteen thousand" as
016; and "nine" as 009; because each class must
have three digits. The exception is the class on
the extreme left. We may write "Five" as 5 rather
than 005.
When writing a four-digit number, such as Four

thousand five hundred, it is permissible to omit the


comma and write 4500. In fact, we often read that
as "Forty-five hundred." But when a number has
more than four digits, then for the sake of clarity
we should always place the commas.
Example 6. Distinguish the following:

a) Two hundred
seventeen million
Answers.
a) 217,000,000

b) Two
hundred million seventee
n

b) 200,000,017