Understanding International Numbering System

  • By Ami Nandani
  • August 31, 2023
  • Big Data
Understanding International Numbering System

Understanding International Numbering System

Numbers play a crucial role in our everyday lives in various ways. Nowadays things are pretty easy for us but have you ever thought about how counting was done in ancient times or how counting came into existence? Counting in ancient times was often done using physical objects like sticks or pebbles. Over time, people started using lines and marks on rocks and pottery for counting various items. Eventually, the concept of numbers emerged, leading to the need for a standardized system of counting. This system, known as the numeral system or system of numeration, involved the use of digits or symbols to represent numbers. With the passing of time, different countries and time periods developed their own unique numeral systems, resulting in a wide variety of systems such as Roman, Greek, Arabic, binary, decimal, and more. But today we will focus on the Understanding International Numbering System. 

The International Numbering System (INU) is a sophisticated numerical representation system designed to effectively handle large numbers by organizing them into distinct groups or periods. These groupings play a crucial role in facilitating the accurate interpretation of vast numerical values. In the INU, similar groupings or periods are utilized, but their differentiation lies in the placement of commas, which is done in a distinctive manner compared to conventional number systems. These categories of groupings help us interpret large numbers correctly. Commas are strategically placed in large numbers to enhance readability and simplify the process of reading and writing them. However, it’s worth noting that the placement of commas varies between the Indian and International Numbering Systems. In the International numbering system, the first comma is positioned after the hundreds position, creating distinct groupings to aid in better understanding and interpretation of the number. This unique comma placement is a key characteristic that sets the International numbering system apart from other systems, such as the Indian system. Numbers are definitely a sure shot one to get confused with and be incorrect too. There must be numerous questions arising in your head about numbers and their usage, let’s take a look. 


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Comparison between Indian and International Numeral System

While comparing the two numeral systems we observe that:

  • 100 thousand = 1 lakh
  • 1 million = 10 lakhs
  • 10 millions = 1 crore
  • 100 millions= 10 crores

Understanding International Numbering System

Placement of Comma

The Indian numeral system follows a comma placement rule where the first comma is inserted after the hundreds place, and subsequently, commas are placed after every two digits. For example, the number 1,23,45,67,890 demonstrates this pattern.

On the other hand, the International numeral system adopts a different approach.  In this system, the first comma is placed after the hundreds place, and from there onwards, commas are positioned after every three digits. This results in a distinct format, for instance, the same number would be represented as 123,456,789 in the international numeral system. Master Big Data with our top-rated Big Data Classes in Pune! Gain in-demand skills in data analysis, processing, and management. Join now to excel in the world of Big Data

In summary, the Indian and international numeral systems differ in the placement of commas, with the Indian system using commas after every two digits and the international system employing commas after every three digits beyond the hundreds place.

Like mentioned in the above example in the Indian numeral system, the first comma is placed after the hundreds place post which commas are placed after every two digits E.g. 1,05,00,230

And in accordance with the international numeral system, the initial comma is placed after the hundreds place, and subsequently, they are placed after every three digits. E.g., 10,500,230

Understanding International Numbering System

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Number Names in International Number System

In the International number system, number names are expressed using a sequence of ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousand, hundred thousand, one million, ten million, hundred million, and so forth. This stands in contrast to the Indian number system, which uses ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousand, lakhs, ten lakhs, and crores to denote numerical values. The difference in the terminology used for these numerical units distinguishes the two systems from each other.

How to Write Numbers in Words Using International Number System

Step 1: Begin from the right side and place commas after every three digits to create groups.

Step 2: Assign a specific period to each group, starting from the right-hand side. The periods are ones, thousands, millions, billions, and so on, representing the place value of the digits.

Step 3: Determine the face value of each digit within its respective place value. For example, in the number 86, the face value of 6 is simply 6. However, in the number 767, the place value is in the tens place, which means the face value is 60.

Step 4: Sum up the amounts within the same period. For instance, in the number 27,000, there is a group with a place value of 2, representing twenty thousand, and another group with a place value of 7, denoting seven thousand. Together, it becomes 20 + 7, which is twenty-seven thousand.

Few points to make a note of:  Place values in the International number system can be extended to the left to include numbers with more than 9 digits. These location values belong to the billions period, which comes after the millions period.

The place value of a digit after the hundred million places is a thousand million or one billion which in the Indian system is equal to hundred crores.

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Difference between Indian and International Number System

  • The Indian and International Number Systems share similar naming conventions and writing styles for the first five digits from the right. However, the point of divergence lies in the nomenclature of numbers beyond the ten thousand places.
  • In the Indian Number System, the numbers beyond ten thousand are termed as Lakhs, Ten lakhs, Crores, and so on. For instance, the smallest 6-digit number “1,00,000” is read as “one lakh.”

On the other hand, in the International Number System, the numbers beyond ten thousand are called Hundred thousand, Millions, Ten million, and so on. Therefore, the same 6-digit number “1,00,000” is read as “one hundred thousand” in the International Number System.

  • This distinction between the two systems highlights the contrasting terminologies used to represent large numbers and is an essential factor to consider when interpreting numerical values in either system.

Understanding International Numbering System

Lastly, the international numbering system, also known as the Western numeral system, has become the most widely adopted method for representing numbers across the globe. Its consistent use of commas to group digits in sets of three, starting from the right, allows for easier interpretation of large numbers. This concept’s simplicity has made it an indispensable aspect of our everyday lives, facilitating effortless communication and easy understanding of diverse cultures and languages.

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Ami Nandani
SevenMentor Pvt Ltd

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