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I know that there isn't a very simple way to pronounce decimals in Russian. They translate literally as "X wholes, X tenths/hundredths/etc.", where X is feminine.

As such, 0.1 becomes ноль целых, одна десятая; 0.01 becomes ноль целых, одна сотая — if I'm not mistaken, that is.

But, what if I wanted to pronounce, colloquially, a number like 0.333333333333(...), that is to say a number with an infinite amount of decimal places?

In that case, could I say the numeral's components individually? Like "ноль точка три три три три (...)"?

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  • 3
    You'd say ноль целых, три в периоде
    – Quassnoi
    Apr 3, 2017 at 12:29

1 Answer 1

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I don't think there's any set rule, but as a native speaker, I can advise the following options: First you have to know that in Russian the decimal separator is the comma , (pronounced запятáя, colloquially и), not the point .:

0,333... – ноль и три, три, три [и так далее]...

0,333... – ноль, запятая, три, три, три [и так далее]...

More scientifically:

0,333... = 0,(3) – ноль целых и три в периоде

0,133... = 0,1(3) – ноль, запятая, один и три в периоде

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  • The answers on the page russian.stackexchange.com/questions/1501/decimal-declension say decimal digits are usually pronounced in groups of two or three at a time, but 0,33333333... would not be ноль и тридцать три тридцать три и так далее?
    – KCd
    Apr 3, 2017 at 13:33
  • 2
    Well, this variant is acceptable, I think. As I said, there is no set rules regarding this. Apr 3, 2017 at 14:06

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