Decimals

Allan-M

Allan-M

In the lessons we are taught about the decimal point being "virgule", e.g. Two point five = deux virgule cinq. However, my understanding is that virgule is actually a comma, and the reason it is used like this is that French standard notation is to use a comma for a decimal separator as opposed to a point (period or fullstop), like many other nations do. If however you are reading a document, and mention a section headed 5.10, you would actually say cinq point dix, ne c'est pas? (While the comma, "virgule" is reserved as a decimal separator only). Does this change in other French speaking countries, where the decimal separator is a point (period or fullstop)? Do people then use point instead of virgule even for decimal numbers? Furthermore: 1) does one read a decimal no 5,46 as cinq virgule quatre six or cinq virgule quarante-six? and 2) I assume one would read a heading 5.12 as cinq point douze . . ? I just need to be sure my understanding of this is correct, before I end up in a French boardroom one day,. confusing clients.
Marie-Claire-Riviere

Marie-Claire-Riviere

Salut à nouveau Allan! The French decimal separator is always a comma "virgule", as you said. If you were talking about a section titled 5.10 you would use 'point'. As in "cinq point dix", we use a full stop in France. French Canada I think uses the American system so there is no coma for decimals (using full stops instead). Your examples would be: 1. Cinq virgule quarante-six 2. Cinq point douze Merci!

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket French trial here .