How should you read the number 1.5?

Should I read it as

  1. one and half


  1. one and a half

Any help would be appreciated.

  • It is a guess without any context.
    – user3169
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:24
  • 12
    @user3169 one and half is never correct.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:27
  • @Catija I was not referring to the listed options. As you said in your answer, there are several ways to say it, but which one to use depends on context. It would make for a better question.
    – user3169
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:30
  • This needs to be edited to reflect the new information provided in the conversation under my answer... I can not do this because there is already a pending edit.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 5:06

2 Answers 2


You have several options:

  • one point five
  • one and a half
  • one and one-half - can seem wordy.
  • one and five-tenths - mathematically correct term, not used regularly.

These are all correct.

The hyphens in the last two are optional to some degree depending on the source. Including it is arguably more correct.

one and half is not correct... usually. Based on your comments, it looks like you're seeing it used in technical, electrical system uses:

One and half breaker Bus System Chart

In this case, it may be correct but I don't see any evidence that they would ever write it out as 1.5.

  • But, one and half of one works. It just sounds, really, really awkward.
    – Pyraminx
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:37
  • 1
    @Listenever In that sort of use, it seems that either is accepted but (as someone who knows nothing about electrical systems), it doesn't look like that they would write it as 1.5.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 4:58
  • 3
    IMHO, "one and half of one" is so awkward that it does not "work". Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 6:48
  • 8
    Just to add: "one point five" would be standard if reading the number as written. One and a half tends to be used descriptively, rather than when reading a decimal aloud.
    – Jon Story
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 9:58
  • 2
    @Robin It sounds awkward to a lot of AmE people, too. It's the correct mathematical phrasing but is generally simplified to a half, which is why I listed it last.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 14:40

"1.5" would be read as "one point five". Note that "1.50" is "one point five oh" or "one point five zero", not "one point fifty", since fifty means five times ten.

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