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Thread: 0 kilometres?

  1. #1
    Tedwonny is offline Member
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    Default 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. #2
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: 0 kilometres?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    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. #3
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    Default Re: 0 kilometres?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    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. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: 0 kilometres?

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

  5. #5
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    Default 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. #6
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    Default 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 11:48.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default 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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