Edited a bit to shorten it.
J Beckwith, B.M. Opera & Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2011). I teach English to non-native speakers. In English there are some rules that even when I explain them, I recognize that they are completely illogical.
- Quantities of “0” are plural. When you have 1 of something it’s singular. “It’s one degree Celsius”
But when you have 0 of something, it’s plural. “It’s 0 degrees outside.” “I have zero questions for you.”
2. Another number rule. When we use measurements before a noun, they remain singular, even when plural. I understand the logic behind this, but it still seems like it doesn’t make too much sense.
“The trip is two hours long.” But “It’s a two-hour-long trip.”
[I have to disagree with this one. Unlike many languages, the rule in English is that adjectives just don’t show number, period. Or gender, for that matter.]