HOW TO TALK ABOUT NUMBERS THAT ARE APPROXIMATE
If you don't know the exact figure, or simply don't want to give it, for any reason, you can use the adverbs meaning 'more or less'. There is a wide array of phrases you can use to describe the value without giving the precise number. Here you'll find a handful of them.
ABOUT, AROUND, ROUGHLY, IN THE REGION OF
There were roughly 250 participants at the conference.
It will cost in the region of a 1.5 m dollars.
after a figure
Only 15 or so people came to the meeting.
Let's meet at 4-ish, shall we?
NEARLY, ALMOST, JUST UNDER, JUST SHORT OF, THE BEST PART OF
a figure that is slightly less than the one stated
The company sold almost 1,000 items.
We'll be working on this project for the best part of 1.5 years.
The share price was just under 6.5 dollars.
UPWARDS OF, JUST OVER, A LITTLE OVER, SOMETHING OVER
a figure that is more than the one stated
It will cost upwards of 20 grand a month.
They earned just over 2.6 m euro on this transaction.
colloquial noun phrases like A BALL-PARK FIGURE, A GUESSTIMATE
can indicate that a figure is approximate
I can only give you a ball-park figure.
Pleas bear in mind that this total is just a guesstimate.
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- teacher of English
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