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In the ruler below, there are some graduations on the ruler. I wonder how you can differentiate them in English. Specifically,

  • The entire ruler

  • The bigger part (0, 1, 2, etc... graduation itself, not number)

  • The medium part (0.5, 1.5, 2.5, etc...)

  • The smaller part (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, etc...)

  • The number attached on the bigger part

I think the entire ruler should be just described as ruler, but how can I tell the graduations and its number attached on them?

(The picture was taken from this page)

enter image description here

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I can't say that I know the correct way to call them, but intuitively, I would call them: centimeter marks, half-centimeter marks, and millimeter marks. – Damkerng T. Mar 4 at 10:55
The marks are known as "tick marks", but as far as I know, they don't have specific names; if such terms do exist, they are recondite terms, not words the average native speaker knows. – TRomano Mar 4 at 10:58
In the US, metric rulers have only recently starting appearing on retail shelves. The man in the street still uses inches, not centimeters; the typical ruler might have tick marks at inch, half-inch, quarter-inch, eighth-inch, and sixteenth-inch. – TRomano Mar 4 at 11:07
Thanks guys. Maybe I should have clarified, but I want to add them the specific, intuitive names because they are properties defined in a class in my app (forgive me for using the technical jargons). – Blaszard Mar 4 at 11:07
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I would say:

  • The entire ruler can be called the ruler (or the rule, although ruler is more common)
  • What you call "the graduation" could be called the units
  • What you call "the smaller part" could be called the subunits
  • The lines could be called the markings or the marks
  • What you call "the medium parts" are known as center markings

Thus, I could describe the ruler in your picture by saying:

The ruler has centimeter units with millimeter markings, and center markings at the half centimeter.

For more information: Ruler FAQ

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There are woodworking rulers (imperial measure) that go down to the 64th. – TRomano Mar 4 at 11:03
@TRomano - I realize my answer doesn't cover all marks on all rules. Your answer provides good supplemental information; thanks for covering that aspect of it. – J.R. Mar 4 at 11:19
I realize you realize. The terminology of your answer is general enough to cover all rules. – TRomano Mar 4 at 11:23

On Java sliders, the markings are referred to a major or minor ticks: you could refer to the big marks as numbered marks and the smaller ones as major and minor ticks.

The ruler has number markings every centimetre, with major ticks 
 every 5mm and minor ticks every 1mm.

Microscopists used the terms coarse and fine: you could use medium to describe something between the two:

The ruler has numbered coarse graduations every centimetre, 
medium graduations every 5mm and fine graduations every millimetre
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As I mentioned in the comment, only recently have metric rulers begun to be commonly available in the US. The "average" American still uses inches, not centimeters, and this picture shows what the typical American thinks of when you say "wooden ruler". There are no everyday terms for the different marks. We'd say "the quarter-inch marks" or "the eighth-inch marks" or "the half-inch marks" or "the inch marks".

There are tick marks at the 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and at the inch.

enter image description here

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The lines are usually called marks, and you could differentiate between centimeter marks or millimeter marks (for metric rulers like yours). An individual mark could be called the 4-centimeter mark.

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