Which is correct: kilogram or kilograms

Which is correct: kilogram or kilograms

Which is correct: kilogram or kilograms

August 16, 2019

Likbez Education

The correct spelling depends on whether the exact amount of what is being measured is known.
Photo by Linda Zhuravleva

Linda Zhuravleva

Lifehacker Film Critic

Which is correct: kilogram or kilograms


This problem has existed in linguistics since at least the 1950s. Dictionary-reference book “Russian literary pronunciation and stress” 1959 indicatesthat shape kilograms used primarily in written language kilogram – orally.

This division lasted until the early 2000s. And some sources recognized option kilogram non-normative, while others considered it acceptable.

Modern dictionaries indicatethat both options are equal, but with one caveat: if the noun is used with a numeral. This is true called counting form, which is used when specifying the exact amount: nine kilograms and nine kilos.

However, outside of such combinations with numerals, one should speak and write only a word with the ending -ov: missing a few kilograms, counting kilograms.

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