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Blog criado por Bruno Coriolano de Almeida Costa, professor de Língua Inglesa desde 2002. Esse espaço surgiu em 2007 com o objetivo de unir alguns estudiosos e professores desse idioma. Abordamos, de forma rápida e simples, vários aspectos da Língua Inglesa e suas culturas. Agradeço a sua visita.

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quarta-feira, 19 de março de 2014

‘The score was three nil (3-0) to Manchester United.”

In our yesterday’s lesson, intermediate level students were doing a listening activity when a student heard something that he found ‘weird’. This activity was basically about the United Kingdom (UK). During this mentioned listening activity, the guy was talking about the rivalry between England and Scotland in football.

Well. I don’t think it is necessary to point it out, but the UK consists of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Sports are great opportunities four countries like Scotland to show its own identity. England and Scotland played football against each other for the first time in 1870 and the match ended a 0-0 draw. It’s not the history of the match we are interested in in this post, but the pronunciation of ‘0’ (usually ‘zero’).

Well, in English it is very important to know how to say ‘zero’ in other contexts so that students will avoid misunderstandings, especially on the phone or in video conferences.

What many people don’t know is that there are many ways of saying ‘zero’ in English – zero, oh, nought... but in this very specific case, the guy pronounced something like ‘nil’ | nɪl |.

For football scores they really say ‘nil’:

Manchester United's Robin van Persie centre, right, celebrates with teammate Wayne Rooney, after scoring his third goal during the Champions League, Round of 16, second leg match against Olympiakos, at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (AP Photo /PA, Peter Byrne)

‘The score was three nil (3-0) to Manchester United.” Actually, American English uses many words for sports scores:

Chicago Bulls are winning three-nothing/ three-zero/ three-zip.

For tennis scores they usually say love:

The score was fifteen love. (15-0)

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