Difference between trillion and billion

The difference between trillion and "billion" is that the former refers to a million million. However, the second translates to one billion.

Difference between trillion and billion

In simple terms, the trillion has twelve zeros, while "billion" has only nine, but being very similar words they can be confused.

Then 1,000,000,000 is read one billion in Spanish, but in English it would read "one billion."

Similarly, 3,700,000,000,000 is read as 3.7 trillion in Spanish, but the equivalent in English is 3.7 trillion.

It should be noted that the diffusion of the term «billion» was carried out by a group of mathematicians in the seventeenth century. The USA . They used it first, the UK took a little longer to adopt it and it was in 1974 that the official numbering form was declared.

False cognate

The case of "billion" is an example of a false cognate. Many times we think that when a word in English sounds the same as another in Spanish it means the same thing. And sometimes it happens just like "telephone" which is translated as telephone. However, sometimes we can fall into the trap that this rule is always followed.

"Billion" is not the only false cognate. For example, "actually" is not translated as currently, but rather means "actually."

Curious examples

Some curious examples where we can see the use of "billion" are the following:

  • It is estimated by 2020 that the world already inhabits more than 7.7 billion people, which would be translated as 7.7 billion.
  • If we say that Rockefeller has about US $ 663,000 million in assets (or US $ 663 billion), it would not be correct to classify him as a billionaire, but in English you could say "billionaire." Therefore, when it comes to wealth, it is best to use the less precise term. That is, the concept of billionaire, which could refer to someone who has several million of a coin.