5 Most Common Ways of Saying 0 (Zero) in English

5 Ways of Saying 0 (Zero) in EnglishDid you know that there are many different ways of saying the number 0 (zero) in English? In this blog post I'm going to tell you when to use which version.

Used in tennis. Example: 15 - 0: fifteen - love

In football (and other sports) scores. Example: In the world cup, Germany won against Portugal 4 - 0 (four - nil)

Before the decimal point. Example: 0.75 (nought point seven five)

Oh (pronounced like the letter "O"):
  • After the decimal point. Example: 7.01 (seven point oh one)
  • In telephone numbers. Example: My phone number is 07156 307 0228 (oh seven one five six / three oh seven / oh double two eight)
  • In years. Example: He was born in 1907 (nineteen oh seven)
  • In hotel room numbers. Example: I'm in room 304 (room three oh four)
  • In bus numbers. Example: To get to the conference, take bus 502 (bus five oh two)
  • When talking about blood types. Example: People with type O Rh negative blood are also called universal donors.
  • For the number Example: Is zero an even or odd number?
  • For the temperature Example: -10° C (ten degrees below zero)
Interesting fact: Why is the score nil called love in tennis? According to the Oxford dictionary, there are two possible explanations. One seems to be that the term love was adapted from the idiom to play for love (of the game), meaning to play for nothing. Another explanation is that the term was derived from the French word l'oeuf, meaning egg in English, because the shape of an egg resembles the number zero.
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