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IELTS Preparation Series 3, Episode 16: Listening for Numbers


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Hello, and welcome to Study English, IELTS Preparation. I'm Margot Politis.

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In the Listening Module of the IELTS Test you can expect to be asked questions about

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numbers.

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So it's important to be familiar with how we talk about numbers.

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First, listen to the numbers in this clip about a wind farm in Tasmania:

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Each tower that you can see can generate enough power for between seven and eight hundred

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houses.

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'between seven hundred and eight hundred houses'

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When numbers are exact or a clear approximation such as 'between seven hundred and eight hundred',

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the word 'hundred' has no final 's'. The plural is formed by the following noun: 'between

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seven hundred and eight hundred houses'.

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For an exact figure you say: seven hundred houses.

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You can use a preposition to be less exact and say: over seven hundred houses; around

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seven hundred houses; about seven hundred houses; nearly seven hundred houses or under

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seven hundred houses.

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When we state a number, such as seven hundred or eight thousand there is no 's' after the

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unit - four hundred, ten thousand, or five million.

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So when do we add 's' to these words?

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Listen to the man in the next clip use 'hundreds' to describe the slow change from one type

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of forest to another:

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There have probably been three lots of logging since white settlement in the 1860s. In time,

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that eucalyptus forest will gradually go back to rainforest, but that takes hundreds of

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years.

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'Hundreds of years'. There is no number; it's just more than one. Notice we add 'of' before

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the noun 'years' Hundreds of years.

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So listen carefully. 'Thousands of' and 'millions of' are not exact numbers. They're guesses

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or rough figures.

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He also said the 1860s. This means any year from 1860 to 1869.

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In the next clip about Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the speaker doesn't use the final 's'.

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Angkor is one of the most popular World Heritage sites in the whole of Asia. Every year now

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there are over one million tourists coming to Angkor.

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By saying 'over one million tourists', he means more than one million but much less

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than 2 million. If the figure were closer to two million, he would probably say 'nearly

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two million tourists'

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But if he'd said millions of tourists, he would mean more than 2 million.

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Instead of saying one million you can also say a million. It means the same thing.

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Listen to this woodchopper talking about how many titles he's won: