# Is zero points always plural ?

Status
Not open for further replies.

#### thebushtucker

##### New Member
Hello everyone,

I have checked on many english website, but I always find "zero points" with a -S at the end !
What do we say "zero point" or "zero points" ?

• #### bibliolept

##### Senior Member
It is "points," by custom.

#### Loob

##### Senior Member
O points, plural...

#### Embokias

##### Member
I think "zero anything" takes plural.

These all sound right to me:

The winning team had one point.
The losing team had zero points.
I have one dollar. If I spend it, I'll have zero dollars.

We don't use this construction very often because it is more natural to say "no points" or "no money."

#### Thomas Veil

##### Senior Member
Some more conventions:
One half of a point, but .5 points

Also, sometimes 1.0 points.

#### brian

##### Senior Member
Thomas Veil said:
Also, sometimes 1.0 points.

...only because the word zero is pronounced and requires the plural...

#### Embokias

##### Member
...only because the word zero is pronounced and requires the plural...

I disagree. I would say "one point one points" and "(zero) point one points" and they both end in a one, which would take the singular if it were alone.

#### brian

##### Senior Member
Touché!

Inexplicable then?

#### johndot

##### Senior Member
When you use decimals you are referring to the number of points (even when it’s one or less), but when you use fractions you refer to the fraction of a point (even when it’s more than one).

nought point one points, but
one-and-one-tenth of a point

Last edited:

#### brian

##### Senior Member
But even when using whole numbers (0, 1, 2...) you are referring to the number of points. So why 1 point but 1.0 points?

#### Embokias

##### Member
Johndot, you mention "one and one tenths of a point," but what about "one tenth of a point?"

#### johndot

##### Senior Member
Sorry about the typo, Embokias! I got carried away with my esses and my eth’s! I made the correction when I spotted it.

#### Embokias

##### Member
Johndot, I didn't mean it as a correction! "One and one tenths of a point" sounds fine to me, although it doesn't make sense.

#### cuchuflete

##### Senior Member
Everyone gets lots of points for the fascinating digressions. Would anyone care to comment further on the question in the first post? Points will be awarded.

#### Forero

##### Senior Member
As a noun phrase, it's always "zero points" and never "zero point". However, if "zero-point" is used to modify something else, it has a hyphen and no s.

"One and a half points" but "a point and a half" and "a one-and-a-half-point margin", "One and a tenth points" but "a point and a tenth" and "a one-and-a-tenth-point margin".

#### johndot

##### Senior Member
I would say, yes, ‘zero points’ is always plural—except when it’s an adjective (in which case it would be hyphenated: a zero-point score).

Edit: And I get no points for being pipped at the post by Forero!

Last edited:

#### cuchuflete

##### Senior Member
There come a point at which, the thread question having been answered pointedly, the thread needs to rest. Anyone with additional information directly pertaining to the thread question in the first post is invited to contact a moderator. The thread will be reopened to receive pertinent additions.

Status
Not open for further replies.