Large Numbers | Introduction

Fear of big numbers is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s common, more common than one would think. Large numbers are technically described as numbers bigger than what is used in daily life. And hence the fear is sensible enough. But can one point to where this seemingly irrational fear of big numbers that most of us have in common stems from? It’s simple really, since none of us are used to using these huge numbers from the number system in our daily routines, it is unfamiliar to us and the unfamiliar is always treated with caution and a healthy underlying fear. Which to be honest should be blamed on our survival instinct that warns us of the unknown and unfamiliar.

Large Numbers


Now that the root of the fear has been uncovered, it should get easier to tackle the problem. Since fear of large numbers stems from unfamiliarity, we shall make it familiar. We are well aware that numbers are separated into groups: the ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, and so on. Each group is home to three subdivisions: ones, tens, and hundreds. When reading or writing a large number begin at the left with the largest group, and proceed to the right. For instance, take 8,685 is read as eight thousand, six hundred, and eighty-five. First one must be clear with this. It begins with the ones: ones, tens and hundreds being the subdivisions, followed by thousands, millions, and billions and so on, with their own three subdivisions. How would you read 10,876,432? It would go ten million, eight-hundred seventy-six thousand, and four hundred and thirty-two.

The very large numbers are somewhat like this

1,000,000,000 are “one billion”.

1,000,000,000,000 are “one thousand billion”.

1,000,000,000,000,000 are “one million billion”.

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 are “one billion billion”.

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 are “thousand billion billion” and so on…

When a number is made of more than 12 figures; you say first the number of billions, then the numbers of millions, then the numbers of thousands, then the hundreds, tens, and units. The more you practice, the more the fear will subside. Also know more about decimal numbers standard form at

Practise This Question

The monthly expense of Pavan in the month of July was Rs 40,000 and in the month of June was Rs 35,000. If his monthly income is Rs 60,000. In which month did he save more?