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In British and American English, we use a point (.) and not a comma (,) for decimals. In English we use commas in figures only when writing thousands or millions. No commas or decimal points are used when giving dates. (‘full stop’ and ‘period’ are the terms used). Numbers after decimal points are usually read separately.

10,001 is ten thousand and one.
10.001 is ten point oh oh one. OR ten point double oh one
10.66 is ten point six six not: ten point sixty-six
1066 is ten sixty-six (an important date in British history, not a number!)

The company made a profit of € 12.5m = twelve point five million euros
OR twelve million five hundred thousand (please note ‘m’ is the short form for million)

Spending on R&D dropped to € 5,250,295
= five million two hundred and fifty thousand two hundred and ninety-five

AIG’s losses amounted to $95bn in the last quarter = ninety-five billion dollars
(please note ‘bn’ is the short form for billion, 1 bn = 1,000 m)

Unemployment decreased to 3.5m – an decrease of 700,000 from this time last year
= three point five million / seven hundred thousand

0.325 nought point three two five
0.001 nought point oh oh one or 10-3, ten to the power minus three

You will also hear people say:

0.05 zero point oh five OR oh point oh five

But if the number after the decimal point is a unit of money, it is read like a normal number:

£12.50 twelve pounds fifty OR $ 2.95 two dollars ninety-five

The company paid a dividend of € 1.25 per share last year = one euro twenty-five cents

NB: When you do business on the phone, say nought point three seven five (0.375) and not nought point three hundred and seventy-five. This is very important because if the listener missed the word point, you might lose a lot of money. Say the digits separately after the decimal point.

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