million: ✓ twenty million people ✗ twenty million(s) *of* people

By | September 26, 2016
million: twenty million people
twenty million(s) *of* people
We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.
Abbiamo quaranta milioni di motivi per l’insuccesso, ma neanche una scusa.
- Rudyard Kipling
✓ More than twenty million people watched the final.
✗ More than twenty million *of* people watched the final.
Più di venti milioni di persone hanno guardato la finale.
In English we don’t use of after definite/exact numbers. We say one hundred dollars (not one hundred *of* dollars), one thousand dollars (not one thousand *of* dollars) and, logically, one million dollars (and not one million *of* dollars). We only use of with the plural form (hundreds, thousands, millions of ..., etc.) when we mean "many hundreds", "many thousands", "many millions" - an indefinite number, or a number too big to count!
Compare the following examples:
✓ Two megabytes is about two million bytes.
✗ Two megabytes is about two million *of* bytes.
Due megabyte sono circa due milioni di byte.
✓ Computers perform millions of operations a second.
I computer svolgono milioni di operazioni al secondo.

200 million sperm, and you were the fastest
Now try the quiz below! There are FIVE answers. The pass mark is 100% (5 out of 5). Click on the blue arrows to go to the next or previous question. You can check your answers immediately or when you've finished the quiz.

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