General Writing and Grammar Help/plural form


Hi Ted! I have a question about a certain word that we use everyday in work. I was critized by my supervisor of not using "fractional shares" and she told me that since the word "fractional" is less than one so it should be "fractional share" with the S. Is she right?

Thanks in advance.

Dear Lakers:

Your supervisor is wrong.  You are correct.

fractional share

Less than one share of stock, that is, one-third or one-half a share. Fractional shares are generally created from dividend reinvestment plans or stock dividends. For example, if a firm's directors declare a 2% stock dividend, an owner of 70 shares would be entitled to 1.4 additional shares. Because corporations do not issue certificates including fractional shares, the stockholder would receive one share and the cash equivalent for the fractional share. Fractional shares are credited to dividend reinvestment plans.

Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

*** If you are talking about just ONE, then "fractional share" is correct.  More than one requires the plural.

EXAMPLE:  I have 50 shares of Hewlett-Packard stock.  In addition, I own 6 fractional shares of some other computer company.

Ted Nesbitt

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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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