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to Say in the Elixir Track

Published at Jun 19 2020 · 0 comments
Test suite

Given a number from 0 to 999,999,999,999, spell out that number in English.

Step 1

Handle the basic case of 0 through 99.

If the input to the program is 22, then the output should be 'twenty-two'.

Your program should complain loudly if given a number outside the blessed range.

Some good test cases for this program are:

  • 0
  • 14
  • 50
  • 98
  • -1
  • 100


If you're on a Mac, shell out to Mac OS X's say program to talk out loud. If you're on Linux or Windows, eSpeakNG may be available with the command espeak.

Step 2

Implement breaking a number up into chunks of thousands.

So 1234567890 should yield a list like 1, 234, 567, and 890, while the far simpler 1000 should yield just 1 and 0.

The program must also report any values that are out of range.

Step 3

Now handle inserting the appropriate scale word between those chunks.

So 1234567890 should yield '1 billion 234 million 567 thousand 890'

The program must also report any values that are out of range. It's fine to stop at "trillion".

Step 4

Put it all together to get nothing but plain English.

12345 should give twelve thousand three hundred forty-five.

The program must also report any values that are out of range.


Use and (correctly) when spelling out the number in English:

  • 14 becomes "fourteen".
  • 100 becomes "one hundred".
  • 120 becomes "one hundred and twenty".
  • 1002 becomes "one thousand and two".
  • 1323 becomes "one thousand three hundred and twenty-three".

Running tests

Execute the tests with:

$ mix test

Pending tests

In the test suites, all but the first test have been skipped.

Once you get a test passing, you can unskip the next one by commenting out the relevant @tag :pending with a # symbol.

For example:

# @tag :pending
test "shouting" do
  assert Bob.hey("WATCH OUT!") == "Whoa, chill out!"

Or, you can enable all the tests by commenting out the ExUnit.configure line in the test suite.

# ExUnit.configure exclude: :pending, trace: true

If you're stuck on something, it may help to look at some of the available resources out there where answers might be found.


A variation on JavaRanch CattleDrive, exercise 4a http://www.javaranch.com/say.jsp

Submitting Incomplete Solutions

It's possible to submit an incomplete solution so you can see how others have completed the exercise.


defmodule SayTest do
  use ExUnit.Case

  # @tag :pending
  test "zero" do
    assert Say.in_english(0) == {:ok, "zero"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one" do
    assert Say.in_english(1) == {:ok, "one"}

  @tag :pending
  test "fourteen" do
    assert Say.in_english(14) == {:ok, "fourteen"}

  @tag :pending
  test "twenty" do
    assert Say.in_english(20) == {:ok, "twenty"}

  @tag :pending
  test "twenty-two" do
    assert Say.in_english(22) == {:ok, "twenty-two"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one hundred" do
    assert Say.in_english(100) == {:ok, "one hundred"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one hundred twenty-three" do
    assert Say.in_english(123) == {:ok, "one hundred twenty-three"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one thousand" do
    assert Say.in_english(1_000) == {:ok, "one thousand"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one thousand two hundred thirty-four" do
    assert Say.in_english(1_234) == {:ok, "one thousand two hundred thirty-four"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one million" do
    assert Say.in_english(1_000_000) == {:ok, "one million"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one million two thousand three hundred forty-five" do
    assert Say.in_english(1_002_345) == {:ok, "one million two thousand three hundred forty-five"}

  @tag :pending
  test "one billion" do
    assert Say.in_english(1_000_000_000) == {:ok, "one billion"}

  @tag :pending
  test "a big number" do
    assert Say.in_english(987_654_321_123) ==
              "nine hundred eighty-seven billion six hundred fifty-four million three hundred twenty-one thousand one hundred twenty-three"}

  @tag :pending
  test "numbers below zero are out of range" do
    assert Say.in_english(-1) == {:error, "number is out of range"}

  @tag :pending
  test "numbers above 999,999,999,999 are out of range" do
    assert Say.in_english(1_000_000_000_000) == {:error, "number is out of range"}


ExUnit.configure(exclude: :pending, trace: true)
defmodule Say do
  defguard is_billion(val) when val >= 1_000_000_000
  defguard is_million(val) when val >= 1_000_000
  defguard is_thousand(val) when val >= 1_000 and val < 1_000_000
  defguard is_hundred(val) when val >= 100 and val < 1_000
  defguard is_ty(val) when val >= 20 and val < 100
  defguard is_teen(val) when val >= 10 and val < 20
  defguard is_literal(val) when val >= 1 and val < 10
  defguard is_negative(val) when val < 0
  defguard is_too_big(val) when val > 999_999_999_999

  defguard is_even_hundred(num) when rem(num, 100) == 0
  defguard is_even_ten(num) when rem(num, 10) == 0

  @doc """
  For enunciate to work, the System outside of elixir will need to have
  espeak installed (on some linux systems, running `sudo apt-get espeak`
  should do the trick)

  Enunciate takes a range or integer and tells the outside operating system
  to say that integer or that range.
  def enunciate(first .. last) do
    for i <- first .. last, do: enunciate(i)

  def enunciate(number) do
    case in_english(number) do
      {:ok, text} -> System.cmd("espeak", [text])
      {:error, error_text} -> System.cmd("espeak", ["error! " <> error_text])

  @doc """
  Translate a positive integer into English.
  @spec in_english(integer) :: {atom, String.t()}
  def in_english(num) when not is_integer(num), do: {:error, "not an integer"}
  def in_english(num) when is_negative(num) or is_too_big(num), do: {:error, "number is out of range"}
  def in_english(0), do: {:ok, "zero"}
  def in_english(num) when is_integer(num) do
    result = num |> chunkify() |> scale_words()

    {:ok, result}

  defp chunkify(number) do
    |> Integer.digits()
    |> chunk_in_threes_from_decimal()
    |> Enum.map(&Integer.undigits/1)

  defp chunk_in_threes_from_decimal(digit_list) do
    |> Enum.reverse()
    |> Enum.chunk_every(3)
    |> Enum.map(&Enum.reverse/1)
    |> Enum.reverse()

  def scale_words([first | [0]]), do: translate(first) <> " thousand"

  def scale_words([first | [0, 0]]), do: translate(first) <> " million"

  def scale_words([first | [0, 0, 0]]), do: translate(first) <> " billion"

  def scale_words([first | rest] = chunks) do
    case length(chunks) do
      4 -> translate(first) <> " billion " <> scale_words(rest)
      3 -> translate(first) <> " million " <> scale_words(rest)
      2 -> translate(first) <> " thousand " <> scale_words(rest)
      1 -> translate(first)
  def translate(number) when is_hundred(number), do: meld_hundred(number)
  def translate(number) when is_ty(number), do: meld_ty(number)
  def translate(number) when is_teen(number), do: meld_tens(number)
  def translate(number) when is_literal(number), do: literal(number)
  def translate(0), do: ""

  def literal(1), do: "one"
  def literal(2), do: "two"
  def literal(3), do: "three"
  def literal(4), do: "four"
  def literal(5), do: "five"
  def literal(6), do: "six"
  def literal(7), do: "seven"
  def literal(8), do: "eight"
  def literal(9), do: "nine"

  defp meld_tens(10), do: "ten"
  defp meld_tens(11), do: "eleven"
  defp meld_tens(12), do: "twelve"
  defp meld_tens(13), do: "thirteen"
  defp meld_tens(15), do: "fifteen"
  defp meld_tens(18), do: "eighteen"
  defp meld_tens(num) when is_teen(num), do: translate(num - 10) <> "teen"
  defp meld_tens(num) when is_ty(num), do: meld_ty(num)

  defp meld_ty(20), do: "twenty"
  defp meld_ty(30), do: "thirty"
  defp meld_ty(40), do: "forty"
  defp meld_ty(50), do: "fifty"
  defp meld_ty(80), do: "eighty"
  defp meld_ty(num) when is_even_ten(num) do
    ten_magnigtude = num / 10 |> round() |> translate()
    ten_magnigtude <> "ty"

  defp meld_ty(num) do
    tens_num = rem(num, 10) |> round()
    translate(num - tens_num) <> "-" <> translate(tens_num)

  defp meld_hundred(num) when is_even_hundred(num) do
    hundred_magnitude = num / 100 |> round() |> translate()
    hundred_magnitude <> " hundred"

  defp meld_hundred(num) do
    hundreds_num = rem(num, 100) |> round()
    translate(num - hundreds_num) <> " " <> translate(hundreds_num)

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