# The distance [...] is 0.5 foot/feet.

#### mhp

##### Senior Member
In the Spanish-English grammar forum, there is an interesting discussion going on about units of measurements when the quantity of what is being measured is between 0 and 1, exclusive; for example, 0.5 foot/feet. How do you write this?

The distance between points A and B is 0.5 foot.
The distance between points A and B is 0.5 feet.

To be clear, this is not about adjectival usage such as a 0.5-foot-tall elf. I apologize if this has been discussed previously in this forum; I couldn't find any prior threads.

• #### e2efour

##### Senior Member
I would expect to see 0.5 feet, although I think 6 inches (6") is to be preferred.

#### Majorbloodnock

##### Senior Member
Personally, I can't think of a time when I would talk about a distance of half a foot. My take would be:

• 0.5 feet - I'd say half a foot if really pushed, but 6 inches under normal circumstances.
• 1.5 feet - I'd normally say either 18 inches or a foot and a half.
• 2.5 feet - I'd talk about two and a half feet.

#### mhp

##### Senior Member
Personally, I can't think of a time when I would talk about a distance of half a foot.

I'm sorry, I don't understand. Do you mean you always use whole numbers, or that you don't use feet as a measure distance?

#### Spira

##### Banned
No, he means that he would express a division of a foot in the unit measurement of inches.
Like choosing to say 4 pints instead of half a gallon.
Or 50 cents instead of half a dollar.

#### preppie

##### Senior Member
It depends:

I would say, "One and half feet" but "A foot and a half"

I would say "Half a foot" (if I had to use feet/foot) but would usually say six inches. If I had to use .5 then I would write it as ".5 feet".

#### Majorbloodnock

##### Senior Member
No problem, mhp. What I mean is that, whilst I often measure distance in miles, yards, feet and inches, I don't refer to anything less than a foot in terms of fractions of a foot. Instead, I work in a smaller unit - inches. The same applies for yards, where I won't talk about half a yard, but one and a half feet instead.

However, I'm happy to talk about half a mile, and am happy to talk in terms of fractions of almost any metric unit (half a metre, half a centimetre etc.).

#### Majorbloodnock

##### Senior Member
Half an hour
Half a mile
Quarter of a pint
A third of a ton.

As I mentioned before, this only seems relevant for imperial measurements, and now I've had the chance to reflect, it's probably because 0.5 is a metric expression. A simple fraction seems to sit better with imperial units than a decimal point. Purely my opinion, of course....

#### mhp

##### Senior Member
I'm sorry, I deleted my previous post before seeing your reply. It did not contain any new information.