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Is ZERO always ZERO in English?

Updated: Jan 26, 2020

Compared to other languages in the world, English is not the most difficult one. Some even say English is easy-peasy.

If so, you can do with a few variations of zero, can't you?

1. 'Oh' In telephone numbers, room numbers, bus numbers and dates (years):

  • The general meeting is in Room 102 (one oh two)

  • We need to take Bus 305 (three oh five)

  • She was born in 1806 (eighteen oh six)

  • The company move headquarters in 2005 (twenty oh five)

  • My telephone number is 06681 050 520 (oh double six eight one oh five oh five two oh OR zero seven seven eight one zero two zero five six zero)

2. 'Nil' for football scores:

  • ‘The score is three nil to England’. (3-0)

  • American English uses various words for sports scores:

  • The team won three nothing/ three zero/ three zip.

'Nil' also means 'nothing'

  • I decided to startup my business as the risks were virtually nil.

3.'Love' for tennis scores:

  • The score was thirty love. (30-0)

  • Serena is winning forty love. (40-0)

4. 'Zero' for temperatures :

  • It’s zero degrees Celsius today (0°)

  • The temperature is -5 degrees. (five degrees below zero)

5. Zero and nought for the decimal point :

In British English, zero and nought are used before and after a decimal point. 

*American English does not use nought.

Oh can be used after the decimal point.

  • 0.06       zero point zero six OR nought point nought six

  • 0.5%      zero point six percent OR nought point six percent.

  • 0.501     zero point six zero one OR nought point six nought one OR nought/zero point five oh one

Make sure you do not make basic mistakes, especially in business English.

All on numbers and essential expression both for professionals and students.

Zero in slang and idioms:

Go from zero to hero.
Noughts and crosses is a great game to teach your child logical thinking.
Everything came to naught.

Zero = notching, zip, zilch

I know zip about IT. US
He is the boss? He knows zilch about business. US
They are leading fourteen to zip. US

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