In a professional context, if you say the following :

The current value is 0.8, it's 0.3 more than the previous version.

Do you say both number the same? Do you say "point 8", "O point 8", "O 8", "zero point 8" ?

Does it depend on what you're talking about? (millimeters, currency, software version, ...) In my sentence, it's a dimension.

Is "point 8" too casual for a professional conversation?

Isn't it a little heavy to say "zero point ..." if you say a lot of numbers in a row ?

  • 1
    I think it might depend on the exact professional context. Usually I would say "zero point eight" for things like millimeters, pounds, etc. and "zero dot eight" for software versions. Both numbers would be said the same way. – stangdon Feb 9 '17 at 16:37
  • @userr2684291 while the other answer is good, it is not sufficient since there are many ways to say it that vary with dialect. – Andrew Feb 9 '17 at 17:07
  • @Andrew I'm aware of that, and maybe this inquiry will help engender that type of answer – to the linked question. – userr2684291 Feb 9 '17 at 20:42

According to the way I was taught (I was in the science stream at grammar school), it's "nought point eight" and "nought point three".

Also: 0.80 should be pronounced "nought point eight nought", not "nought point eighty".

  • 2
    AmEng would use zero or oh in place of naught. – J.R. Feb 9 '17 at 16:26
  • 2
    Not only AmEng. Many Brits would say that too. – Andrew Leach Feb 9 '17 at 16:59

This seems to vary with dialect. In AmE the most common way to express a value like 0.80 (adding addition precision to your example) is with the actual word "zero" for 0 and "point" for the decimal point:


It is also acceptable to leave out the zero to the left of the decimal:


Also, the final zero only matters if you care about that degree of precision. This will vary with context, and not necessarily whether the discussion is professional or scientific. Sometimes it matter, sometimes it doesn't. If not, then you can say:


It is not uncommon even in some professional contexts to use "oh" in place of "zero", but only for the numbers to the right of the decimal.

Our heading is two-one-point-oh-five degrees, north by north east. (21.05 NNE)

The magnitude of the explosion was three-point-oh-five times ten-to-the-thirteenth power joules. (3.05 x 10^13)

As the other answer mentions, some (British) dialects prefer "naught" to "zero". Possibly also Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other English-speaking countries. Some Americans will understand this, but many won't (until it's explained to them).

  • Why would you add zero after eight? You don't even know that's the case. It could be rounded already, so it could actually be zero point eight two... if the only data you have is 0.8, adding a zero after the end would be incorrect. – Catija Feb 9 '17 at 17:21
  • @Catija I misread the question. Edited. – Andrew Feb 9 '17 at 17:25

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.