Hindu-Arabic numeration system

The Hindu-Arabic numeration system evolved around A.D. 800. It is basically the numeration system that is widely used today.


The following lists 4 main attributes of this numeration system

First, it uses 10 digits or symbols that can be used in combination to represent all possible numbers

The digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Second, it groups by tens, probably because we have 10 digits on our two hands. Interestingly enough, the word digit literally means finger or toes

In the Hindu-Arabic numeration system, ten ones are replaced by one ten, ten tens are replaced by one hundred, ten hundreds are replaced by one thousand, 

10 one thousand are replaced by 10 thousands, and so forth...

Third, it uses a place value. starting from right to left,

  •                     the first number represents how many ones there are 
  •                     the second number represents how many tens there are 
  •        the third number represents how many hundreds there are 
  •        the fourth number represents how many thousands there are 
  •        and so on... 


For example, in the numeral 4687, there are 7 ones, 8 tens, 6 hundreds, and 4 thousands

Finally, the system is additive and multiplicative. The value of a numeral is found by multiplying each place value by its corresponding digit and then adding the resulting products

Place values:       thousand       hundred      ten       one

Digits                        4                      6            8           7

Numeral value is equal to 4 × 1000 + 6 × 100 + 8 × 10 + 7 × 1 = 4000 + 600 + 80 + 7 = 4687


Notice that the Hindu-Arabic numeration system require requires fewer symbols to represent numbers as opposed to other numeration system

Each Hindu-Arabic numeral has a word name. Here is short list:



             0: Zero                                   10: Ten

            1: One                                     11: Eleven

            2: Two                                     15: Fifteen

            3: Three                                  20: Twenty

            4: Four                                    30: Thirty-four

            5: Five                                     40: Fourty

            6: Six                                       100: One hundred

            7: Seven                                  590: Five hundred seventy

            8: Eight                                    5083: Five thousand eighty-three

            9: Nine                                     56000: Fifty-six thousand





Numbers from 1 through 12 have unique names

Numbers from 13 through 19 have "teens" as ending and the ending is blended with names for numbers from 4 through 9

For numbers from 20 through 99, the tens place is named first followed by a number from 1 through 10

Numbers from 100 through 999 are combinations of hundreds and previous names





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