I am trying to express credit earned toward a total number of points, and I'm considering two ways to write it in the case where full credit is only one point:

  • X of 1 points
  • X of 1 point

My opinion is that the first one sounds more correct, but I'm not sure.

I am using these standalone to display as titles over something and it is possible to get a fractional amount of points.

Would it make a difference what the first number is? For example, if they get full credit would it be "1 of 1 Point" but otherwise it's (for example) ".5 of 1 Points"?

I should make note that full credit isn't always worth one point and the actual number of points it is worth is important to make known (since it can be different for each question) so the total points has to be there.

  • It took me a minute to figure out what you were asking. I edited the question to explain the context a little better up front. Please check to make sure this is actually what you meant. Feb 25 '14 at 0:09
  • 1
    I think you've got something back-to-front here. If it's always 1 point, that's what it is - singular. You might want to replace 1 with a, but it would still be .3 of a point or whatever. The whole concept is inherently clumsy though - you'd do better to abandon the X of Y point(s) format altogether, and just write 0.3 points, 0.6 points, etc. Feb 25 '14 at 0:17
  • I presume this is a way to track a student or user's progress to some goal, like “X of 39 achievements” or something. In that case, for situations where it's X out of 1, I would use “X [points out] of 1 point [possible].” Hm, perhaps I should make that an answer? Feb 25 '14 at 2:25

If you are tracking points toward a goal, where the goal in some cases is one point, I would label it “X of 1 point,” “X of 2 points,” and so on. My reasoning is that this heading is an abbreviation of “X [points scored out] of 1 point [possible],” thus the plurality is of 1 and not of X.

However, as other people have noted, there may be better ways to present the data.

  • Thanks. And this is part of a spec for a website (where I don't have full control) and there isn't a lot of space for this text. The spec has it like you say, but it just sounded odd to me so wanted another opinion. Feb 25 '14 at 6:08

I would just use 50 percent or 25 percent and leave the total points per unit implied. This would let you reuse them when they are worth more than 1 point each.

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