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- "En siffra"

## 41 Comments

- 39

Indeed. And these cognates are traceable to the Arabic *sifr* (empty). https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%86%D0%B8%D1%84%D1%80%D0%B0

- 2454

Well, 'siffra' could be the whole number as well as one of the digits. If someone asks you 'tänk på en siffra' ('to think of a number' = e.g. a magician doing a trick), you don't have to restrict yourself.

- 164

Therefore, as a native British Enflish speaker, we should learn to translate 'siffra' to mean figure, which could be a single or multiple digit number. Digit really is only a one character number.

- 1343

I was about to point that out too. Looks like this word has travelled through many languages.

- 365

It is number in the sense of the actual numeral/digit itself. I tend to translate it as numeral.

- 241

The "correct" use (as far as I know) is:

"En siffra" (digit) is a single digit, like 7.

"Ett tal" (figure) is just any number of an infinite scope, something in math, and it can have decimals, e.g "3.14" or "3,14" if we use decimal comma which one are supposed to in Sweden, but computers have blurred that rule a bit.

"Ett nummer" (number) is one in a set of enumerated numbers, like phone number or lottery number.

In reality though, usage overlaps, and both siffra and nummer are used for any figure in some situations and/or by some people.

Also "nummer" is sometimes used for things with more than digits. For example "ett artikelnummer" (an item number/po number) can sometimes be e.g "ap1-724" with letters etc.

And I might as well include "ett belopp" (amount) that is used only for amount of money.