Everyday maths 1 (Wales)
Everyday maths 1 (Wales)

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Everyday maths 1 (Wales)

1.3 Writing large numbers

You may need to read numbers much larger than those we have looked at previously.

Take the number 9 046 251. The value of each digit is as follows:

9 millions

0 hundred thousands

4 ten thousands (or 40 thousand)

6 thousands

2 hundreds

5 tens

1 unit

To make large numbers easier to read, we put them in groups of three digits starting from the right:

6532 is often written as 6 532 (or 6,532).

25897 is often written as 25 897 (or 25,897).

596124 is often written as 596 124 (or 596,124).

7538212 is often written as 7 538 212 (or 7,538,212).

Using a place value grid can also help you to read large numbers. The place value grid groups the digits for you, making the whole number easier to read.

Look at the place value grid below. It only goes up to millions, but we can use place value to record numbers of any size, including numbers much greater than this.

MillionsHundreds of thousandsTens of thousandsThousandsHundredsTensUnits

You may also want to watch this clip to help you to understand place value with large numbers:

Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Example: Reading large numbers using a place value grid

How would you say the number in the place value grid?

MillionsHundreds of thousandsTens of thousandsThousandsHundredsTensUnits


You need to say the number a section at a time:

Seven (7) million,

four hundred and six (406) thousand,

eight hundred and ninety-four (894).

So the number is seven million, four hundred and six thousand, eight hundred and ninety-four (7 406 894).

Now try the following activity, using the place value grid to help you if needed.

Activity 3: Large numbers

  1. Write the following numbers in words:
    • a.765 228
    • b.1 655 501
    • c.3 487 887
  2. Write the following words in numbers:
    • a.Six hundred and eight thousand, nine hundred and ten.
    • b.Two million, seven hundred and eleven thousand, one hundred and six.
    • c.Eight million, nine hundred thousand, four hundred.
  3. Put the following numbers in size order, starting with the smallest:
    • 496 832
    • 1 260 802
    • 258 411
    • 482 112
    • 1 248 758
    • 1 118 233


  1. The answers are as follows:
    • a.Seven hundred and sixty-five thousand, two hundred and twenty-eight.
    • b.One million, six hundred and fifty-five thousand, five hundred and one.
    • c.Three million, four hundred and eighty-seven thousand, eight hundred and eighty-seven.
  2. The answers are as follows:
    • a.608 910
    • b.2 711 106
    • c.8 900 400
  3. The correct order is:
    • 258 411
    • 482 112
    • 496 832
    • 1 118 233
    • 1 248 758
    • 1 260 802

Live in Wales? Free your ambition with a paid part-time course with the OU in Wales.

With grants of up to £4,500* to help with living costs, and tuition fee loans to cover course fees,
now's the time to take that next step.

Find out more

*Eligibility rules apply for financial support.