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?

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'.

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.

4. ## Re: 0.5 metres

Originally Posted by Tan Elaine
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?

The way I see it:
0.5 = 5*0.1 = five-times one-tenth -- plural

5. ## Re: 0.5 metres

Originally Posted by Tan Elaine
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?

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

6. ## Re: 0.5 metres

Originally Posted by Kondorosi
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.

7. ## Re: 0.5 metres

Originally Posted by greegorush
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.

8. ## Re: 0.5 metres

Originally Posted by Williamyh
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.

9. ## Re: 0.5 metres

Originally Posted by greegorush
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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