Fraction is plural or singular?

lagrange

Member
Japanese
I would like to ask if a fraction quantity of less than one is plural or singular.

for example: 0.5 hour or 0.5 hours ??

Fraction quantity of more than one should be plural, correct?

4.5 hours ?


Thank you.
 
  • lagrange

    Member
    Japanese
    Thank you.
    I know that way to say but you can see sometimes such as in a scientific paper, people write 0.5 hour, 1.5 hour etc.

    Can you guide me?
     

    Aya del Playa

    Senior Member
    English, Indonesian
    It depends (context)! If you're saying, for example, "at 0.5 hours the reaction had not begun, at 1.0 hours the reaction [etc.]," then you would use the plural throughout. In general, in science writing, you'd use the plural. (But not always! CONTEXT ;))
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Thank you.
    I know that way to say but you can see sometimes such as in a scientific paper, people write 0.5 hour, 1.5 hour etc.

    Can you guide me?
    Personally, I would consider anything that included a decimal portion of an hour to be followed by "hours": 0.5 hours, 1.5 hours, 1.1 hours, 0.0 hours, even 1.0 hours. If it were were written in a fraction, though, I would expect anything above 0 and up to 1 to be "hour": 1/10 hour, 1/2 hour, 3/4 hour, 1 hour, 1 3/4 hours. (I would read these out loud as "one tenth of an hour", "a/one half-hour", "three-quarters of an hour", "one hour", "one and three-quarters hours").

    In timekeeping (such as timecards), it's common in AE to see "hr." rather than "hour" and "hrs." rather than "hours".
     

    Giordano Bruno

    Senior Member
    English, England
    I agree with JamesM.

    I would say "Point five inches" or "Point five of an inch". Thus the singular form is used only for the single unit and not for amounts greater or less.
     

    . 1

    Banned
    Australian Australia
    I agree with James on everything except the combination of a digit and fraction.

    One and three quarter hours.
    An hour and three quarters.

    I can not explain it but English does not seem to like double multiples in the same phrase.

    .,,
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I agree with James on everything except the combination of a digit and fraction.

    One and three quarter hours.
    An hour and three quarters.

    I can not explain it but English does not seem to like double multiples in the same phrase.

    .,,
    Now that I see yours in print, I think it's much better than mine. :) I vote for .,,'s version.
     
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