I have read in some dictionaries that, when referring come the weather, the “–” sign is talked as “minus” — for example “minus 10 degrees”.

Is “negative 10 degrees” additionally common and also interchangeable through "minus"?



Not common, yet yes, interchangeable.To mine ear, "negative X degrees" is normal, and "minus X degrees" is a bit affected. However, Janus Bahs Jacquet is that the opinion the "minus X degrees" is normal worldwide.

You are watching: Negative 10 degrees celsius to fahrenheit

I"m lean to to trust him. I have actually very little experience through sub-0 Farenheit temperatures. Seattle has literally never gone listed below 0 F. I resided in Vancouver wherein it hit an adverse Celsius temperature maybe when or twice, so I"m by no means an expert.

I"m leaving out Google Ngram below due to the fact that the question specifically inquiry "spoken as," which Google Ngram doesn"t table of contents at all. The body of modern-day American aramuseum.org and British nationwide Corpus do have actually entries (in theory) for transcribed spoken aramuseum.org.

Newspaper Usage

However, my theory of regional variation isn"t exactly though. The Vancouver Sun and the Seattle Times both favor "minus."

Although both execute infrequently use "negative X degrees," the Sun as soon as in one AP wire around Iowa and one around Kam Chancellor"s hands:

I"m required to break up "minus" is undoubtedly the standard, and "negative" an agree variation.

Corpus of modern-day American aramuseum.org

The CCAE has tokens from both composed and spoken aramuseum.org. It has actually 140 hits for MINUS * DEGREES, from 2 come 459, in both numbers and words. On the various other hand, it has actually only 13 access time for negative * DEGREES. At some point, I"d favor to map the access time to check out if there space areal tendencies.

I can"t link to the find directly, yet here"s a attach to the COCA home page come look that up because that yourself: http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/.

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British nationwide Corpus

Like the CCAE, the BNC has actually entries indigenous ``a wide selection of genres (e.g. Spoken, fiction, magazines, newspapers, and also academic)."" It has 15 hits for MINUS * DEGREES and also none at every for an adverse * levels indicating "negative" is at the very least an Americanism.


"Minus" is without doubt what most North Americans and also all Brits say. The said, "negative" is no wrong, and also unlike a word favor "inflammable," you"re i can not qualify to be misunderstood if friend use. I don"t see any type of reason come recommend versus "negative," return if you"re unsure, you might prefer "minus."

Maybe someone deserve to weigh in whether it"s exactly in a technical context come say "negative" end "minus."