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 Feb 17 '15 at 4:24
  • 10
    @user3169 one and half is never correct. – Catija Feb 17 '15 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 Feb 17 '15 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 Feb 17 '15 at 5:06

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 Feb 17 '15 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 Feb 17 '15 at 4:58
  • 3
    IMHO, "one and half of one" is so awkward that it does not "work". – Brian Hitchcock Feb 17 '15 at 6:48
  • 6
    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 Feb 17 '15 at 9:58
  • 1
    @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 Feb 17 '15 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.

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