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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Decimals without integer part

    Hello!
    I could not find any clear explanation on the Internet why decimal fractions are sometimes (especially in technical texts) expressed with nothing to the left of the decimal separator, i.e. an integer part is omitted.
    For example: .009; .01 etc. Does this way of expressing decimals have any specific meaning?
    Thank you in advance!

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Decimals without integer part

    Hi alexogor, and welcome to the forum.
    The whole number (to the left of the decimal point) is only omitted if it's a zero. I don't think this is specific to English as such.

  3. VIP Member
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    #3

    Re: Decimals without integer part

    It saves a space on the page.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Decimals without integer part

    I tried putting zeros there, but they kept rolling off.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. Senior Member
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    #5

    Re: Decimals without integer part

    There is no difference in meaning between, say, "0.5" and ".5".
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  6. VIP Member
    English Teacher
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    #6

    Re: Decimals without integer part

    Sometimes, in speaking, we might say 'point five' instead of the full 'nought point five', but in writing I think it's sloppy and causes possible misreading.

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