numbers amount count hundreds thousands millions dozen couple pair double triple quadruple first second third fourth add plus minus deduct multiply divide roughly approximately equal several
third time lucky
have sixth sense
in seventh heaven
be second nature
at the eleventh hour
once bitten twice shy
first impressions last
a; what’s the area of your country?
B: it’s not very big. It’s a little over half a million square kilometers.
A; that sounds quite big! How many people live there?
B; there are about 30 million people in my country. Most of them live in the north.
A: what’s the average income?
B; that’s the really hard to say. I think most people earn about two thousand dollars a month, if you convert the money from our currency into dollars.
A; so your country is fairly rich.
B: I think we are richer than most countries, but not as rich as countries in western Europe. Our biggest problem at the moment is unemployment, which is roughly 8%. It has doubled over the last four years.
A: unemployment in my country is a fraction of that.
A: what’s “pi“?
B: that’s the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, I think.
A; I see. What is that ratio exactly?
B: it’s approximately 3.14, but the number continues forever. What’s the diameter of your circle?
A: it’s 10 centimeters, so the circumference should be 31.4 centimeters.
B; ok. My next problem is to convert 10000 british pounds into us dollars. What’s the exchange rate at the moment?
A: according to the newspaper, the exchange rate is 1.85 dollars to the pound.
B: that means that 10.000 pounds will buy me 18.500 dollars.
A: what’s the next question.
B; fractions. What’s a quarter and an eighth? That’s three-eights. Easy. The next question is “what are prime numbers?“.
A: I can help you there. Those are numbers that cannot be created by multiplying two whole numbers, apart from the number itself and 1, together.
B; so, 1,2 and 3 are prime numbers, but 4 isn’t because 2*2=4.
A: exactly. Anything else?
B; how many seconds in an hour? 60 seconds multiplied by 60 minutes equals 3600 seconds altogether.
A: you’ll be a mathematician one day.