# Are there alternative ways to read numbers aloud in Spanish?

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

• Note that we already have an answer about telephone numbers spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/12992/… specifically. 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 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... Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 14:27
• 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/… Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 23:23

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.