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    #1

    0.5 metres

    Could some member please tell me why it should be 0.5 metres instead of 0.5 metre? I'm confused because 0.5 is smaller than one. We write 1/2 metre, not 1/2 metres?

    Many thanks in advance.


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    #2

    Re: 0.5 metres

    (Not a teacher)

    I believe there isn't a 'rule' as such, no a reason. Perhaps the thing to remember is that, in general, things between 0 and 1 are singular. However, decimals appear to be an exception to this. Perhaps, just an exception through language use, rather than based on rules.

    There must be examples that aren't plural in a decimal for between 0 and 1, but most that I can think of are (0.5 degrees, 0.5 feet, 0.5 inches etc).

    The point about fractions being singular. You don't say 'a zero point five meter' for the decimal. However, you do say 'a half meter' or 'half a meter'. That is, the singularity is more marked in the fraction form by the word 'a'.

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    #3

    Re: 0.5 metres

    That is correct. Whether it appears logical or not, the rule is that any quantity of something - even amounting to less than one - when expressed as a decimal takes a plural form.


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    #4

    Re: 0.5 metres

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Could some member please tell me why it should be 0.5 metres instead of 0.5 metre? I'm confused because 0.5 is smaller than one. We write 1/2 metre, not 1/2 metres?

    Many thanks in advance.
    The way I see it:
    0.5 = 5*0.1 = five-times one-tenth -- plural

  1. #5

    Re: 0.5 metres

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Could some member please tell me why it should be 0.5 metres instead of 0.5 metre? I'm confused because 0.5 is smaller than one. We write 1/2 metre, not 1/2 metres?

    Many thanks in advance.
    equal to or less than 1, it should be singular form. Ans: metre

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    #6

    Re: 0.5 metres

    Quote Originally Posted by Kondorosi View Post
    The way I see it:
    0.5 = 5*0.1 = five-times one-tenth -- plural
    Thus, 0.1 is the singular, isn't it? 0.1 meter.


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    #7

    Re: 0.5 metres

    Quote Originally Posted by greegorush View Post
    Thus, 0.1 is the singular, isn't it? 0.1 meter.
    It is 0.1 metres; 0.1 = 10*0.01 -- plural. It is like матрёшка, if you catch my drift. Forget my suggestion: It is nonsense. I was slow.


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    #8

    Re: 0.5 metres

    Quote Originally Posted by Williamyh View Post
    equal to or less than 1, it should be singular form. Ans: metre
    However, not - as stated - when prefixed by a decimal! 0.7 meters (not *... meter)is correct.

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    #9

    Re: 0.5 metres

    Quote Originally Posted by greegorush View Post
    Thus, 0.1 is the singular, isn't it? 0.1 meter.
    No, it isn't! (See my previous 2 posts)

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