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Thread: zero dollars

  1. #1
    dido4 is offline Member
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    Default zero dollars

    Q1.When should we use plural? Is the following way to tell when to use plural right?

    If the number is not 1, every should be considered as plural, except uncountable nouns. (No matter it is zero or negative numbers.)

    Ex. 1. The temperature is 0 degrees.

    2. The temperature is -1 degrees.

    3. I have lived here for 3.5 years.

    Q2.Which is right?

    1.I get zero dollar from my parents.

    2.I get zero dollars from my parents.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: zero dollars

    Hi dido4

    The plural morpho-phoneme -s doesn't mean more than one. It means not one:
    1. The temperature is 0 degrees.
    2. The temperature is -1 degrees.
    3. I have lived here for 3.5 years.
    Position has nothing to do with it either:

    • 0 points
    • 0.2 points
    • 2.0 points
    Q2.Which is right?

    1. I get zero dollar from my parents.
    2. I get zero dollars from my parents.
    In other words, I get not one dollar from my parents.

  3. #3
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: zero dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by dido4 View Post
    Q1.When should we use plural? Is the following way to tell when to use plural right?

    If the number is not 1, every should be considered as plural, except uncountable nouns. (No matter it is zero or negative numbers.)

    Ex. 1. The temperature is 0 degrees.

    2. The temperature is -1 degrees.

    3. I have lived here for 3.5 years.

    Q2.Which is right?

    1.I get zero dollar from my parents.

    2.I get zero dollars from my parents.
    The temperature is -1 degree.
    I don't think native speakers says minus one degrees.

    Does anyone say that?

  4. #4
    Soup's Avatar
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    Default Re: zero dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    The temperature is -1 degree.
    I don't think native speakers [say] minus one degrees.

    Does anyone say that?
    I do.

  5. #5
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: zero dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup View Post
    I do.
    Ok, but "one degrees "sounds very unnatural, even if it's preceded by 'minus'.
    Do you say 'one degrees below (zero)'?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: zero dollars

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Ok, but "one degrees "sounds very unnatural, even if it's preceded by 'minus'.

    Do you say 'one degrees below (zero)'?
    People do. It's an error based on paradigmatic patterning.

    • It's one degrees outside. <but people say it>

    The error, of course, is that -s means not one, which makes the phrase one degrees semantically awkward.

    The question is, "Why do people say it?" One possible reason is that one degree rarely ever really comes up. That is, if for the majority of the time its X degrees (plural), then -s becomes fused and "degrees" it becomes. (This is a great example of language changing right before us. Wow! Rare. Wonderful. Is Global Warming having an effect on language change?)

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