The obvious way to read a number aloud is to read it as though it had been spelled out in words rather than given as digits. So 245 is read aloud as doscientos cuarenta y cinco.

What about numbers which are just identifiers like Boeing 737, hotel rooms, numbers in catalogues like Bach's cantata Wachet auf BWV 140. Is it optional whether to read them as a number or to spell out the digits? So would I say Boeing siete tres siete

  • 1
    Note that we already have an answer about telephone numbers spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/12992/… specifically.
    – mdewey
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 13:22
  • I guess the answer to this would be subjective and with lots of variations depending on the subject and region so I won't put the following in an answer. I read those like. Boing siete treinta y siete, Bach BMV ciento cuarenta, Usually In hotel rooms the first digits are the floor number so for room 1409 we read those catorce cero nueve
    – DGaleano
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 13:27
  • Well, in fact I do say "Boeing siete-tres-siete". But I also say "Airbus A cuatrocientos M" for Airbus A400M. So I guess it depends...
    – Charlie
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 14:27
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    The answer is of course yes. As to whether there's a general rule or tendency, I don't know but it would be interesting to research Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 14:34
  • There is also one question about years spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/2468/…
    – rsanchez
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


Yes, you do have choices.

  1. As though it were quantifying something: doscientos cuarenta y cinco (even though it isn't).

  2. Digit by digit: dos cuatro cinco.

  3. Combination: dos cuarenta y cinco.

If there's no quantified meaning, the most common approach is to use whatever will be succinct (small number of syllables), hence siete-tres-siete vs. Uno-cuarenta.

Bonus information: if you want to talk about a bus number (bus route), here is what is customary in Mexico at least:

Voy a tomar la Ruta Uno.

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