# Cero vs. Zero: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 8, 2023

**"Cero" is the Spanish word for the numeral "zero," which represents the absence of quantity in English.**

## Key Differences

"Cero" and "zero" essentially refer to the same numerical concept—the absence of any quantity or a point of origin on a scale. However, their key distinction lies in their linguistic origin. "Cero" is a term in the Spanish language, while "zero" is its English counterpart.

Although both "cero" and "zero" represent the same numeral, they are employed in different linguistic contexts. If you're having a conversation in Spanish, you would use "cero," like in counting or when referring to temperatures. On the other hand, in English contexts, "zero" is the appropriate term to denote the lack of quantity or the starting point in a sequence.

Furthermore, the pronunciation of "cero" and "zero" is inherently different due to their linguistic roots. "Cero" carries the softer Spanish "c" sound, akin to "th" in English, while "zero" has a pronounced "z" sound at the beginning.

In literature and popular culture, "zero" has taken on additional meanings, such as being a starting point, a ground level, or even metaphorically implying a lack of value or significance. "Cero," while maintaining its primary numerical significance in Spanish, doesn't quite carry the same range of metaphoric connotations as "zero" does in English.

Moreover, it's essential to consider the regional variations. In British English, the term "nought" is sometimes used interchangeably with "zero," especially in some contexts like sports scores. However, "cero" remains consistent in its representation across Spanish-speaking regions.

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## Comparison Chart

### Language

Spanish

English

### Meaning

Represents the absence of quantity

Represents the absence of quantity

### Pronunciation

Soft "c" sound

Pronounced "z" sound

### Common Usage

In Spanish contexts

In English contexts

### Metaphorical Connotations

Limited in Spanish

Numerous in English (e.g., starting point)

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## Cero and Zero Definitions

#### Cero

Represents no quantity or absence in counting.

El resultado fue cero a cero. (The result was zero to zero.)

#### Zero

Represents nothing or lack of value.

He has zero patience for such antics.

#### Cero

Indicates lack or nothing in Spanish.

No tengo cero idea sobre eso. (I have zero ideas about that.)

#### Zero

Used to indicate the absence of something.

There's zero evidence to support that claim.

#### Cero

The Spanish term for the number after -1 and before 1.

Hay cero manzanas en la cesta. (There are zero apples in the basket.)

#### Zero

The numerical symbol 0; a cipher.

#### Cero

A point of origin in some scales in Spanish contexts.

La temperatura está a cero grados. (The temperature is at zero degrees.)

#### Zero

The identity element for addition.

#### Cero

An edible fish (Scomberomorus regalis) of western Atlantic waters, having silvery sides and a dark-blue back.

#### Zero

A cardinal number indicating the absence of any or all units under consideration.

#### Cero

A large scombroid food fish (Scomberomorus regalis) found chiefly in the West Indies.

#### Zero

An ordinal number indicating an initial point or origin.

#### Cero

A large and valuable fish of the Mackerel family, of the genus Scomberomorus. Two species are found in the West Indies and less commonly on the Atlantic coast of the United States, - the common cero (Scomberomorus caballa), called also kingfish, and spotted, or king, cero (Scomberomorus regalis).

#### Zero

An argument at which the value of a function vanishes.

#### Cero

Large edible mackerel of temperate United States coastal Atlantic waters

#### Zero

The temperature indicated by the numeral 0 on a thermometer.

#### Cero

Large mackerel with long pointed snout; important food and game fish of the eastern Atlantic coast southward to Brazil

#### Zero

A sight setting that enables a firearm to shoot on target.

#### Cero

A neutral point in mathematical contexts.

Cero es un número entero. (Zero is an integer.)

#### Zero

(Informal) One having no influence or importance; a nonentity

A manager who was a total zero.

#### Zero

The lowest point

His prospects were approaching zero.

#### Zero

(Informal) Nothing; nil

Today I accomplished zero.

#### Zero

Of, relating to, or being zero.

#### Zero

Having no measurable or otherwise determinable value.

#### Zero

(Informal) Not any; no

"The town has ... practically no opportunities for amusement, zero culture" (Robert M. Adams).

#### Zero

Designating a ceiling not more than 16 meters (52 feet) high.

#### Zero

Limited in horizontal visibility to no more than 55 meters (180 feet).

#### Zero

(Linguistics) Of or relating to a morpheme that is expected by an established, regular paradigm but has no spoken or written form. Moose has a zero plural; that is, its plural is moose.

#### Zero

To adjust (an instrument or a device) to zero value.

#### Zero

The cardinal number occurring before one and that denotes no quantity or amount at all, represented in Arabic numerals as 0.

The conductor waited until the passenger count was zero.

A cheque for zero dollars and zero cents crashed the computers on division by zero.

#### Zero

The numeric symbol that represents the cardinal number zero.

In unary and k-adic notation in general, zero is the empty string.

Write 0.0 to indicate a floating point number rather than the integer zero.

The zero sign in American Sign Language is considered rude in some cultures.

#### Zero

The digit 0 in the decimal, binary, and all other base numbering systems.

One million has six zeroes.

#### Zero

Nothing, or none.

The shipment was lost, so they had zero in stock.

He knows zero about humour.

In the end, all of our hard work amounted to zero.

#### Zero

The value of a magnitude corresponding to the cardinal number zero.

The electromagnetic field does not drop all of the way to zero before a reversal.

#### Zero

The point on a scale at which numbering or measurement originates.

The temperature outside is ten degrees below zero.

#### Zero

(mathematics) A value of the independent variables of a function, for which the function is equal to zero.

The zeroes of a polynomial are its roots by the fundamental theorem of algebra.

The derivative of a continuous, differentiable function that twice crosses the axis must have a zero.

The nontrivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function may all lie on the critical line.

#### Zero

The additive identity element of a monoid or greater algebraic structure, particularly a group or ring.

Since a commutative zero is the inverse of any additive identity, it must be unique when it exists.

The zero (of a ring or field) has the property that the product of the zero with any element yields the zero.

The quotient ring over a maximal ideal is a field with a single zero element.

#### Zero

(slang) A person of little or no importance.

They rudely treated him like a zero.

#### Zero

(military) A Mitsubishi A6M Zero, a long range fighter aircraft operated by the Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945.

#### Zero

A setting of calibrated instruments such as a firearm, corresponding to a zero value.

#### Zero

(finance) A security which has a zero coupon (paying no periodic interest).

The takeovers were financed by issuing zeroes.

#### Zero

(informal) No, not any.

She showed zero respect.

#### Zero

(meteorology) Of a cloud ceiling, limiting vision to 50 feet (15 meters) or less.

#### Zero

(meteorology) Of horizontal visibility, limited to 165 feet (50.3 meters) or less.

#### Zero

(linguistics) Present at an abstract level, but not realized in the surface form.

The stem of "kobieta" with the zero ending is "kobiet".

#### Zero

(transitive) To set a measuring instrument to zero; to calibrate an instrument scale to valid zero.

Zero the fluorometer with the same solvent used in extraction.

George parked in space 34, zeroed the trip meter, closed and locked his car, then went back to the guard shack.

#### Zero

To change a memory location or range to values of zero; to set a variable in a computer program to zero.

Results were inconsistent because an array wasn’t zeroed during initialization.

#### Zero

(transitive) To cause or set some value or amount to be zero.

They tried to zero the budget by the end of the quarter.

The bill was over $400, but the server zeroed it out as a gesture of gratitude.

#### Zero

(transitive) To eliminate; to delete; to overwrite with zeros.

#### Zero

(intransitive) To disappear.

#### Zero

A cipher; nothing; naught.

#### Zero

The point from which the graduation of a scale, as of a thermometer, commences.

#### Zero

Fig.: The lowest point; the point of exhaustion; as, his patience had nearly reached zero.

#### Zero

A quantity of no importance;

It looked like nothing I had ever seen before

Reduced to nil all the work we had done

We racked up a pathetic goose egg

It was all for naught

I didn't hear zilch about it

#### Zero

A mathematical element that when added to another number yields the same number

#### Zero

The quantity that registers a reading of zero on a scale

#### Zero

Adjust (an instrument or device) to zero value

#### Zero

Adjust (as by firing under test conditions) the zero of (a gun);

He zeroed in his rifle at 200 yards

#### Zero

Indicating the absence of any or all units under consideration;

A zero score

#### Zero

Indicating an initial point or origin

#### Zero

Of or relating to the null set (a set with no members)

#### Zero

Having no measurable or otherwise determinable value;

The goal is zero population growth

#### Zero

The number denoting no quantity or absence in counting.

There are zero cookies left.

#### Zero

A starting point or origin in a sequence or scale.

Set the machine to zero before starting.

#### Zero

A neutral or mean value, especially in mathematics or physics.

The function reaches zero at this point.

## FAQs

#### Can "zero" refer to ground level?

Yes, "zero" can denote ground level, especially in contexts like construction or altitude measurements.

#### Is "cero" Spanish for "zero"?

Yes, "cero" is the Spanish equivalent of the English "zero."

#### Are there metaphors or idioms involving "cero" in Spanish?

While "cero" is primarily numerical, idiomatic usages are more limited compared to "zero" in English.

#### Is the pronunciation of "cero" and "zero" the same?

No, "cero" has a softer "c" sound in Spanish, while "zero" starts with a "z" sound in English.

#### In which Spanish-speaking countries is "cero" used?

"Cero" is universally understood and used across all Spanish-speaking countries.

#### Are there other words for "zero" in English?

Yes, terms like "nought" or "nil" can sometimes be used interchangeably with "zero" in specific contexts.

#### Does "zero" have origins in other languages?

Yes, "zero" has origins in Italian and Arabic, and it has been incorporated into many languages.

#### Is "zero" always a noun in English?

While commonly a noun, "zero" can also be used as an adjective, as in "zero tolerance."

#### How is "cero" used in sports?

In scores, "cero" indicates no points, like in soccer results: "cero a cero" (zero to zero).

#### Is "cero" used in mathematics in Spanish-speaking regions?

Yes, "cero" is the term for the numeral "0" in mathematics in Spanish contexts.

#### Can "zero" be used metaphorically in English?

Yes, "zero" can indicate a starting point, lack of value, or even insignificance.

#### What does "cero absoluto" mean in science?

"Cero absoluto" is the term for "absolute zero," the lowest possible temperature in thermodynamics.

#### How do you say "below zero" in Spanish?

In Spanish, it's "bajo cero."

#### Can "zero" be used in expressions in English?

Yes, expressions like "zero in on" mean to focus or direct one's attention.

#### Can "zero" indicate neutrality?

Yes, in some contexts, "zero" can denote a neutral or middle point.

About Author

Written by

Janet WhiteJanet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Edited by

Aimie CarlsonAimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.