1. Member
Join Date
Jan 2012
Posts
249

## 0 kilometres?

I was listening to a program by BBC radio and I was shocked to learn that plurals should be used after 0. They gave examples of 0 kilometers and 0 degrees Celsius. Is this really true? I have never thought of using plurals after 0. Thanks a lot

2. ## Re: 0 kilometres?

Originally Posted by Tedwonny
I was listening to a program by BBC radio and I was shocked to learn that plurals should be used after 0. They gave examples of 0 kilometers and 0 degrees Celsius. Is this really true? I have never thought of using plurals after 0. Thanks a lot
Yes, it's correct.

3. ## Re: 0 kilometres?

Originally Posted by Tedwonny
I was listening to a program by BBC radio and I was shocked to learn that plurals should be used after 0. They gave examples of 0 kilometers and 0 degrees Celsius. Is this really true? I have never thought of using plurals after 0. Thanks a lot
Yes, it's correct. The plural is also used after "no" - "There were no cats on the mat".
zero kilometres, one kilometre, two kilometres.... Only 'one' takes the singular. (And maybe minus one. I think "minus one degrees" would sound strange).

4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,145

## Re: 0 kilometres?

It's also used with decimals smaller than 1: 0.5 kilometres.

5. ## Re: 0 kilometres?

to everyone, but while '0 degrees Celsius' is quite common (especially last winter ) '0 kilometres' is not very likely. For very short distances (a negligible walk) 'about N metres' - or maybe something like 'just down the road/round the corner....

b

6. ## Re: 0 kilometres?

I can think of at least two contexts in which "0 kilometres" is used. I'm sure there are others.
1. "This car is brand new; it's done 0 kilometres."
2. "The following are the travel allowances claimed for last month:
John: 25 kilometres
Mary: 1 kilometre
Jane: 136 kilometres
Peter: 0 kilometres."
Last edited by Raymott; 28-Jul-2013 at 12:48.

7. ## Re: 0 kilometres?

for no. 2. For no. 1 I'd expect '0 on the clock' (rather than '0 kilometres on the odometer' )

b

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