The use and correct pronouncing of 0

Whatever language you are trying to learn you will probably start with numbers. Most people start counting from the number “1”, but the number”0” is also very important. Unlike the other numbers in the English language, it has several words to describe it.

To help you understand this subject, here is a short and easy to understand guide on how to use the number “0”:


  • In colloquial English, the number “0” is often read as the letter "o", often spelled “oh”. This is especially true when “0” is included with a list of other numbers. This is most commonly used with phone numbers.
  • Example:                                                                                                                          

The number 0198 is pronounced; “oh one nine eight”

The meeting is in Room 502: “five oh two”

You need to take Bus 205: “two oh five”

She was born in 1907: “nineteen oh seven”

In the James Bond films, his agent name is “007”, which is pronounced “double “oh” seven.”


  • "Zero" is a word mostly used in math and science. (When you are measuring something)
    "Visitors train with Space Adventures for several months before spending a few days in zero gravity."

          "The temperature today is below zero degrees."


Nought is very similar to the word 'zero' and is another mathematical word for '0'. It is mostly used in American English. It is often said when talking about percentages.

You may have  heard of the game 'noughts and crosses'. This is a game in which the players try to make a line of three noughts or crosses between vertical and horizontal lines.


  • The sentence 'There is a 0.5% chance of rain today' would be pronounced as 'there is a nought point five percent chance of rain today'

         'To win the game noughts and crosses, you ned to get three noughts in a row.'


  • "Nil "means “nothing” or a “quality of no importance”.  In the UK, “nil” is used to describe scores.


           Leyton Orient won last week’s football match against York City by “two goals to nil”.


  • For tennis scores we say love:
    ‘The score was thirty love. (30-0) (Yes, really)     

I hope this information was useful. Write your questions and/or suggestions in the comments below.






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