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In referring to the size of a land parcel, 1 acre, 2 acres and 2.5 acres are all correct. However, if the site is something less than an acre, say 0.5, is it correct to say 0.5 acre or 0.5 acres? In other words, is the singular form "acre" only applicable when the size is exactly 1.0 acre? Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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AnonymousIn referring to the size of a land parcel, 1 acre, 2 acres and 2.5 acres are all correct. However, if the site is something less than an acre, say 0.5, is it correct to say 0.5 acre or 0.5 acres? In other words, is the singular form "acre" only applicable when the size is exactly 1.0 acre? Thanks in advance for any assistance.
You can use either singular or plural.
There was just a long discussion on this. Here is the link, and the last posting -

http://www.englishforums.com/English/PercentagePointPercentagePoints/pbqlh/post.htm

With fractions below 1, we normally use 'of a' + singular noun.
The same structure is common with decimals below 1.
- three quarters of a ton
- 0.1625 cm.

However, decimals below 1 can also be followed directly by a plural noun.
- 0.1625 cms.

Fractions and decimals over 1 are normally followed directly by a plural noun. 1.3 millimetres (NOT 1.3 millimetre)"
Anonymousis the singular form "acre" only applicable when the size is exactly 1.0 acre?
In my opinion, yes. The opinions given by the authorities who write style manuals vary, and they also change from time to time, but the only thing that "sounds right" to me is that 1 is singular, and everything else is not 1, therefore not singular, and therefore plural.

CJ
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CalifJim1 is singular, and everything else is not 1, therefore not singular, and therefore plural.
I agree, and indicated a preference for plural in the other thread. But there is an exception if the phrase is used as an adjective. e.g.

We bought a 0.5 acre tract of land.
AlpheccaStarsBut there is an exception if the phrase is used as an adjective.
Yes, yes, yes. Of course. I was not taking that into consideration in my reply.

CJ
Thanks everyone for your response. I very much appreciate the help!
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Let's not forget that English provides words instead of numerals in many common cases, e.g. "half-acre" and "quarter-acre." Spelled-out numbers create impact in many cases where numerals would be glossed over.