We have a design that indicate the user about the measurement of food ingredients

For example:

  • 1.5 cup
  • 0.5 cup

Is it right to use it as above or replace it with

  • 1 cup and half
  • A half of cup
  • In your examples the first (decimal) option is clearer. However, I think part of your problem with the second option is the awkward grammar. It should be "One and a half cups of..." and "Half a cup of..." – musefan Aug 11 '20 at 7:08

I would prefer to see it as a fraction, e.g. 1 1/2 cups or as a decimal number (1.5 cup, your first proposal).

Chefkoch (a German website about cooking) uses fractions for whole pieces and decimal numbers for weights or volumes.

chefkoch ui


This will partly depend how you expect your recipes to be used. Are we talking about a recipe book? An app? A smart speaker skill?

In general I would probably avoid decimals -- when you're in the heat of the kitchen, the decimal point/period/comma is relatively easy to miss (especially if it has a speck of flour or a splash of sauce covering it up!), which could easily ruin your recipe. For this reason, it's fairly uncommon to see decimals in recipe books, at least the ones I have.

On the other hand, numbers are still easier to read at a glance than wordy sentences, so I kind of agree with @Nash that fractions might be the best option. Even if the small numerator/denominator are harder to read from a distance, it's immediately obvious at a glance that the required measurement is "one whole number plus a bit extra".

  • 1
    Although I agree it's a fair point to make, I can't help but laugh at the thought of somebody accidentally using 15 cups of flour instead of 1.5 cups. Seriously, you probably shouldn't be cooking if you make that mistake :D – musefan Aug 11 '20 at 11:12

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