How to Read and Say Large Numbers

reading large numbers

One hundred twenty-three million, four hundred fifty-six thousand, seven hundred eighty-nine

Reading large numbers out loud in English can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you understand the pattern, you can count to 999,999 and 999,999,999 just as easily as you can count to 999!

To learn how to read and say large numbers in English, let’s start small. You know that 2 is two and 22 is twenty-two. You might also know that 322 is three hundred twenty-two.

So what’s 322,000? Simple: three hundred twenty-two thousand!

But what about 322,000,000? Easy! Three hundred twenty-two million!

Add those together and you get 322,322,322three hundred twenty-two million, three hundred twenty-two thousand, three hundred twenty-two. It’s easy as pie.

If you’re comfortable with numbers 1-99, then you should be able to recite 312,580,747 after you understand and memorize this pattern:
Every three digits (ones, tens, hundreds) can be grouped up. A comma before any group of three signifies “thousand” or “million” (or “billion” or “trillion”).

reading large numbers pattern

The number 312,580,747 has three groups of three: 312 (three hundred twelve), 580 (five hundred eighty), and 747 (seven hundred forty-seven).

The first comma signifies million (three hundred twelve million) and the second comma signifies thousand (five hundred eighty thousand). The last group is simply seven hundred forty-seven.

Combine them and you get three hundred twelve million, five hundred eighty thousand, seven hundred forty-seven.

reading large numbers pattern examples

If a number like 468,952,311 still makes you cringe, break it down to smaller numbers.

311 = three hundred eleven

2,311 = two thousand, three hundred eleven

52,311 = fifty-two thousand, three hundred eleven

952,311 = nine hundred fifty-two thousand, three hundred eleven

8,952,311 = eight million, nine hundred fifty-two thousand, three hundred eleven

68,952,311 = sixty-eight million, nine hundred fifty-two thousand, three hundred eleven

468,952,311 = four hundred sixty-eight million, nine hundred fifty-two thousand, three hundred eleven

Whew, that’s a mouthful!

Here are some more examples:

706,011,002 = Seven hundred six million, eleven thousand, two

82,605,043 = Eighty-two million, six hundred five thousand, forty-three

1,000,006 = One million, six