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Language CentreTranslation and correctionLanguage Centre Style GuideGeneralFractions


Singular fractions:

Use ‘a’ (or ‘one’ for emphasis; ‘one’ is also more formal)

· … a quarter of an inch /… one quarter of the total population

· Forests cover more than one third of the country.

· … the first half of the twentieth century

· A fifth of the participants responded positively.

Singular fractions as numerals: · ½, ¼, 1/5, ⅛

Plural fractions:

· It is 3 millionths of a centimetre in length.

· … the poorer two thirds of the world

· Nine tenths of them live in the cities.

· The journey took three quarters of an hour.

Plural fractions with numerals: · ⅔ , ⅞, ¾

Fractions used as adjectives (describing a noun) need a hyphen:

· … a two-thirds majority

· … Mozart’s thirty-ninth symphony

· … his forty-second birthday

· … their twenty-second attempt to circumnavigate the globe

Other points

Link whole numbers and fractions with ‘and’

· Two and a half litres

· Four and two thirds

One plus a fraction is followed by a plural noun

· One and a half pints

Last modified:15 September 2017 9.00 p.m.