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Example How Many Zeros in a Trillion

Units of Measure / How Many Zeros in a Trillion

So, you have to remember the following:

- According to the short scale
^{1}, there are twelve zeroes in one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) - According to the long scale
^{2}, there are eighteen zeroes in one trillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000)

Differences between these two scales start from a billion, because lower numbers are all the same in them (a hundred, a thousand, a million). In the short scale a billion is equal to 10

These scales were first used by Genevieve Guitel, a famous French mathematician. The chart below will help you to memorize the distinctions.

Short Scale

Long Scale

A million

1 000 000

1 000 000

A billion

1 000 000 000

1 000 000 000 000

A trillion

1 000 000 000 000

1 000 000 000 000 000 000

In many countries the term “milliard” is in common use for denoting the nine zero number.

Some Interesting Facts about a Trillion

It is not easy to imagine what a trillion means. Read the following examples (we use the short scale trillion), and you will fancy it more clearly:

- You would need almost two trillion pennies, if you decided to fill the famous Empire State Building with them.
- If you had one trillion dollars and spent one million an hour, it would take 411 years to spend all the money.
- One trillion seconds ago there was no Western civilization in the world.

We hope, now you understand how much a trillion is.

This is what one trillion dollars in 0 bills looks like. Do you see the man, standing in the left near corner of the picture?

- The short scale (from French échelle courte) is a system of large number naming. According to the short scale, starting from million, every number is one thousand times the previous number. E.g. billion is a thousand millions.
- The long scale (from French échelle longue) is a system of large number naming. According to the long scale, starting from million, every number is one million times the previous number. E.g. billion is a million millions.

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