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Is 0.1 million singular or plural?
Since 0.1 is smaller than 1, shouldn't it be singular?

E.g:

  • This: 0.1 million people is above the age of 65.
  • or: 0.1 million people are above the age of 65. <--This sounds right, but is it singular?
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  • 5
    people are And that's all that matters here.
    – Kris
    Apr 18, 2012 at 6:50
  • 0.1 is less than one. 0.1 mililion is not.
    – Kris
    Apr 18, 2012 at 6:52

2 Answers 2

3

In your question, 0.1 million signifies how many people are above 65. The plurality is for people which is the noun here. 0.1 million is just a qualifying number, it is neither singular nor plural.

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As a general rule, if you're dealing with countable items, then anything other than 1 is plural, and will use the plural form of the verb.

You should also use plural for fractions that are greater than one. You will say 1.5 kilograms, not 1.5 kilogram. (There seems to be a grey area for fractions less than 1 though; see this discussion).

3
  • What is less than one here?
    – Kris
    Apr 18, 2012 at 7:20
  • @Kris: I don't understand what you're asking. Apr 18, 2012 at 9:00
  • (belated comment) "less than one" is, in this case, less than one million (0.1 million); however, the accepted answer makes this irrelevant, as the subject is "people", plural, not "million". Thus: "people are". The linked discussion is appropriate if you're talking about less-than-one fractions of something (even a fraction of a million), using "apples" as the subject, eg, "2 apples are...", "1 apple is...", "0.5 apples are..." -- or would it be: "0.5 apple is ..."? The linked discussion suggests the former is correct.
    – mick
    Apr 10, 2017 at 5:51

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