Advanced English Grammar

 

 

Numerical Prefixes


 
The numerical prefixes in the English Language typically come to us via Latin or Greek.

What's more, they show a degree of precision that shouldn't be confused once you know what the number prefixes mean.

For instance, when a country celebrates its Centennial, we know that it's one hundred years old because 'cent' comes from 'centum' meaning one hundred.

But what about centenarian? The word, of course, means a person who is 100 years old.

Now, what about words like Pentecost? Not everyone knows that it means fiftieth.

The more common words with numerical prefixes are words we use without even realising that they have a number prefix.

Words like decade, bicycle, quadriceps, monorail, and century, all have number prefixes giving a good indication as to what the words mean.

The following is meant to aid you in your understanding of the English Language.


  

Numerical Prefixes Meanings and Usage

1 mono, uni
2 di, bi
3 tri
4 tetra, quad
5 penta, quint
6 hexa, sex
7 hepta, sept
8 octa, octo
9 ennea, novem
10 deca
20 icosa
30 triaconta
40 tetraconta
50 penteconta
60 hexeconta
70 evdomiconta
80 ogdoiconta
90 enneaconta
100 hecato
cent
milli
kilo
mega
giga
tera

one, only
two
three
four
five
six
seven
eight
nine
ten
twenty
thirty
forty
fifty
sixty
seventy
eighty
ninety
one hundred
one hundred
thousand
thousand
million
billion
trillion
monorail, unicycle
dichotomy, bicycle
triathlon, tricycle
tetrachord, quadracycle
pentagon, quintuplets
hexagon, sextuplets
heptathlon, September
octopus, octogenarian
enneagram, November
decade









century
millenium
kilobyte
megabyte
gigabyte
terabyte


  


To go to a wiki page containing many more numerical prefixes simply click on the preceding link.