point one mile/miles

jflablanca

New Member
Spanish - Spain
As natives seem to disgrace when I ask them these questions, I would love to hear your opinion:

- After 0.1 (point one) mile/miles turn left

mile needs to be used in singular or plural form?
I know that After 1.1 miles but I am not sure whether below one mile (as example above) singular or plural has to be used.

- After three quarter/quarters of a mile turn left

Again the same, in singular or plural form?

Thanks
 
  • 3l1kl0X

    Senior Member
    Castellano - España
    The first one is mile as he's saying a quantity below 1, i think, and the second one is also mile because it isn't above 1 mile.
     

    jflablanca

    New Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Gracias 3l1kl0X.

    En la segunda pregunta me gustaria saber si se usa quarters o quarter:
    After three quarters of a mile.
    After three quarter of a mile.

    Gramaticalmente parece que quarters, pero tambien he oido de nativos que podria ser la solucion de quarter. :(
     

    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    As natives seem to disgrace when I ask them these questions, I would love to hear your opinion:

    - After 0.1 (point one) mile/miles turn left

    mile needs to be used in singular or plural form?
    I know that After 1.1 miles but I am not sure whether below one mile (as example above) singular or plural has to be used.

    - After three quarter/quarters of a mile turn left

    Again the same, in singular or plural form?

    Thanks

    0 miles
    1 mile
    2.1 miles
    0.1 mile

    With numbers between zero and one, I think most people tend to use unit of measurement in singular; however, I don't believe anyone would really object if they were used in plural---this applies only if they are read as zero point one miles rather than :cross:one-tenth of a miles.

    half a mile.
    one-half of a mile.
    one-sixth of a mile.
    two-thirds of a mile.
    three-quarters of a mile.
    two-thirds of a mile
    six-tenths of a mile
     
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    FromPA

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I don't know the rule, but my first reaction was that I would say .1 mile. But then I realized that I would say .2 miles, .3 miles, .4 miles, etc. The only way I can explain the inconsistency is that I'm used to using the singular after the word "one" (point one mile). So I have to conclude that .1 mile is wrong and I should be saying .1 miles.
     

    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't know the rule, but my first reaction was that I would say .1 mile. But then I realized that I would say .2 miles, .3 miles, .4 miles, etc. The only way I can explain the inconsistency is that I'm used to using the singular after the word "one" (point one mile). So I have to conclude that .1 mile is wrong and I should be saying .1 miles.

    I honestly don't think this is either right or wrong. Do you say 0.2 apple or 0.2 apples? Or do you care?
     
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    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm not sure if I'd refer to something that hasn't made it to one in plural (with zero being the exception). That's why I wrote the usage could vary. But if you are sure...
     
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    FromPA

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I'm not sure if I'd refer to something that hasn't made it to one in plural (with zero being the exception). That's why I wrote the usage could vary. But if you are sure...


    I'm not sure at all. That's just what sounds natural to me. I have to admit it's not consistent, and it may sound natural only because my ear is used to hearing a plural when whole numbers are used (i.e., the ear ignores the "point" before the numbers):

    three-quarters of a mile but .75 miles (point seven five miles)

    Point seven five mile sounds strange to me.
     

    elianecanspeak

    Senior Member
    English - EEUU
    I only use the singular "mile" when referring to exactlly one mile. Everything else is "miles":
    .1 miles (vocalized as "point one miles"), .73 miles (vocalized as "point seventy-three miles"), 1.5 miles (vocalized as "one point five miles"), etc.

    Anything written or vocalized as fractions is calculated as a fraction "of a mile" if it is less than a mile, and with the plural if it is more than a mile:
    Two-thirds of a mile; [/B]a[/I][/B] quarter of a mile;

    half a mile (omitting the "of" because it is half without the "one"); one half of a mile (because "one" was used);


    Again, if it is over a mile, "miles" must be used in plural.
    two and three-eights miles; fifty two and a half miles
     

    Wellow

    Senior Member
    English - British (England)
    I only use the singular "mile" when referring to exactlly one mile. Everything else is "miles":
    .1 miles (vocalized as "point one miles"), .73 miles (vocalized as "point seventy-three miles"), 1.5 miles (vocalized as "one point five miles"), etc.

    Anything written or vocalized as fractions is calculated as a fraction "of a mile" if it is less than a mile, and with the plural if it is more than a mile:
    Two-thirds of a mile; [/B]a[/I][/B] quarter of a mile;

    half a mile (omitting the "of" because it is half without the "one"); one half of a mile (because "one" was used);


    Again, if it is over a mile, "miles" must be used in plural.
    two and three-eights miles; fifty two and a half miles


    I concur with elianecanspeak. I thought that perhaps there may be differences in say American and British English usage. Perhaps not.

    I Googled "0.1 mile" and "0.1 miles" and the plural form was very much more common (by a factor of about 15-20) . Despite this I found a reference in a grammar book that supports the use of the singular form for quantities less than one.

    There are no "rules" in English I believe.

    So: My conclusion is that native speakers (at least around these parts) TEND to say:-

    "zero miles"
    "0.1 miles"
    "1.5 miles"
    One tenth of a mile.
    1.5 miles
    1 mile


    Also (more than one mile)
    0.1 million miles (well probably I would say 100 thousand miles)
    1.5 million (miles)

    So maybe when we say "0.1 miles" we have some general idea of expressing a quantity of miles expressed as a decimal fraction.


    I also googled

    "0.1 kilometro"
    "0.1 kilometros"

    Again the strong very preference seems to be for the plural form.

    but "0.1 km." is much more frequent than "0.1 kms."

    So I think (as a general guideline )
    use plural nouns with decimal quantities.

    DON'T PANIC! HAVE FUN!

    By the way there are lots of places with names like

    "six mile bottom"

    and you can say

    I am going for a five mile walk. Now mile is an adjective of course.
    I am going for a walk of five miles.

    Doh!

    I doubt this helps but it's fun:)
     

    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    I Googled "0.1 mile" and "0.1 miles" and the plural form was very much more common (by a factor of about 15-20) . Despite this I found a reference in a grammar book that supports the use of the singular form for quantities less than one.

    I know that most people look at the number of hits on the first page of Google, which is notoriously inaccurate. To get a better approximation, you have to go to the last page. I did this and I got:

    0.1 miles: Page 40 of 396 results
    0.1 mile: Page 18 of 175 results

    0.2 miles: Page 30 of 295 results
    0.2 mile: Page 72 of about 170,000 results

    0.5 miles: Page 34 of 336 results (0.15 seconds)
    0.5 mile: Page 55 of about 694,000 results

    I'm not sure what these numbers mean (I did not examine the individual cases). But the observation that one particular choice is more common by a factor of 15-20 is not supported by these numbers.

    By the way, what is that grammar book? I couldn't find any references. :eek:

    Edit: Since I can't move this thread, I started a new thread in the English Only forum.
     
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    Wellow

    Senior Member
    English - British (England)
    The link I found to a the grammar book was this:-

    http://www.noslangues-ourlanguages....grammaire-grammar/decimales-decimals-eng.html

    About Google searches :

    I was talking about "hits" . I don't understand your point about the number being different (smaller) on the last page. Is that not just the number of hits being shown/displayed? If you back up one page it shows the total hits.

    Also I did not say IS more common or whatever but just reported what WAS the result of my very unscientific search.

    Of course we need to be aware that the number of matches (hits) depends on the search string. I then realised I had used very short strings
    (As did you ). So I repeated the test using a string of the form
    "0.1 mile(s) to" to avoid getting matches like a 0.1 mile run.

    I did this for 0.1, 0.2 ....0.9 mile(s) and in every case the plural form got more hits. But the ratio was at best about 2:1.

    O well I still like the sound of the plural form. That's what you hear around these parts.

    So my advice is unchanged to new forero jflablanca is: still use the plural miles (as a noun) with decimals (easy to remember) .

    0.1 miles to the next exit etc.
    One mile to..
    but 0.9 million searches on Google - you cannot do 0.9 searches though!:)



    Best regards
     

    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    Like the reference you cite, I also think of whole numbers and fractional numbers. Aside from idiomatic usage of zero in plural, I cannot wrap my mind around 0.1 units of anything. I’m not sure if my inclination to mathematics has something to do with this. Personally, I don’t care how it is said because of the psychological factor that FRomPA mentioned, but if it is this is about the “correct” usage...

    As for Google hits and what they mean, it is a chronic problem. Unfortunately the previous discussion in the “suggestion box” is no longer available, so I cannot give a link and I don't think it is appropriate to divert this thread to that discussion.
     
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    dilema

    Senior Member
    Spain-spanish
    I also googled

    "0.1 kilometro"
    "0.1 kilometros"

    Again the strong very preference seems to be for the plural form.

    but "0.1 km." is much more frequent than "0.1 kms."
    I don't know how it is in spoken English. In spoken Spanish, in Spain, I am almost certain that we would usually say "0.1 litros" or "0.x kilómetros" (and, personally, I'd rather say "100 mililitros" or "300 metros"). As other person said before, I would say that we use the singular form only when we have exactly "1".

    As to "0.1 kms", I'm not 100% sure, but I think that the standard rule is that measure units have no plural form. It's always m, kg, s, km/s, etc.
     

    mhp

    Senior Member
    American English
    I fully acknowledge the psychological factor in saying 0.1 unit and 0.2 units. But I’ve been looking around to see if there are any “conventional” rules of grammar about this. Aside from Michael Swan reference, the only other reference I was able to find was a wiki article, which refers the reader to the National Instituted of Santanders and Technology for the plural usage of units of measures in American English. Checking their web site, I found this:
    Plurals:
    Units: Names of units are made plural only when the numerical value that precedes them is more than one. For example, 0.25 liter or 1/4 liter, but 250 milliliters. Zero degrees Celsius is an exception to this rule.​
     
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