Forty-seven thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three people went to a football match. What is this number rounded to the nearest thousand?

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With this question the first thing to help you tackle it would be write the number as digits, i.e.

Forty-seven thousand, nine hundred and eighty-three = 47,983

Now, you want this number to the nearest thousand, in the form XX,000 so you skip over the 4 and the 7 which would be the number of thousands in your answer and go to the first number which should eventually be a 0. In this case it would be the 9.

Now with rounding the numbers 0-4 result in a number being rounded down, but the numbers 5-9 would make the number round up. Therefore as the next number in this case is 9, we round the number before it up, so 47,983 can be rounded simply to 48,000 to the nearest thousand because of the 9 in the hundreds column. The other numbers (8 and 3) do not come into this question as you are only interested in the first number which will be rounded; numbers after this do not affect rounding. 

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