5th Pillar is an NGO fighting against the corruption in India. As a part of non-cooperation movement against corruption, it has come up with a zero rupee note. Here is its image:

Zero rupee note

Now, my question is: Should we write 'zero rupees' or 'zero rupee'? 'Zero rupee' is written everywhere in the site.

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    Considering that the US ten-dollar bill is ten dollars (it's written TEN DOLLARS on the bill), I guess you could refer to the bill as the zero-rupee bill, and its value as zero rupees. – Damkerng T. Jan 19 '16 at 9:47
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    Related question on EL&U, Why is “zero” plural?. – user24743 Jan 19 '16 at 17:05
  • @DamkerngT. Note that in India, 'bill' is never ever used for the currency note. For us, 'bill' always means what you get after purchasing some goods! You may remove the word 'bill' from the comment now to make it relevant. – Maulik V Jan 20 '16 at 4:57
  • @Rathony your comment is actually an answer to this! +1 – Maulik V Jan 20 '16 at 5:03

Good question!

If you are talking about the word to be printed on the note, it should be 'rupees'

Zero Rupees

Why? Because 'zero' is plural (it has been discussed thousands of times that why 'zero' is plural; Some say that 'only 1 is singular in English', others say it is grammatically synonymous with 'not any'; ...and so on; some simply raise a question -why we say 0.5 apples?...anyway, I won't get into it).

And I consider that you already know how to refer that note [you wrote 'a zero-rupee note'].


Usually, attributive nouns in English are singular; for longer treatment, see How do you use plural or singular form of an adjective?.

You may consider units to be a variety of attributive noun, though there are additional guidelines, for example, for measurements. Different style guides define the guideline in different ways; the Oxford Style Guide says

Note that units of measurement retain their singular form when part of hyphenated compounds before other nouns

a five-pound note
a two-mile walk
a six-foot wall
a 100-metre race

Integer and decimal amounts, on the other hand, are always plural if not exactly one. (Varun KN stated this in another way.) Thus,

  • 1 inch
  • 0.57 meters
  • -3π radians
  • 62 degrees
  • 0 rupees

Thus, you have either

  • a zero-rupee note
  • a note worth zero rupees

Also see at EL&U

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    -1 The question is about 'what to write there' and not what do we call it. It is certainly a zero-rupee note, but what to write right there on the note is the question. And, the OP has already stated it: ...it has come up with a zero rupee note... He's clear about it! – Maulik V Jan 20 '16 at 5:00
  • @MaulikV It's not that clear in the question what he meant by "Should we write 'zero rupees' or 'zero rupee'?" The OP wrote "'Zero rupee' is written everywhere in the site." On that web page, all "zero rupee" are either "zero rupee note" or "zero rupee notes". (Hence, my first comment under the OP question.) – Damkerng T. Jan 20 '16 at 9:01

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