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### Percent vs. Percentage

```Date: 08/17/2002 at 20:14:15
From: Alex
Subject: Math

What's the difference between percent and percentage?

```

```Date: 08/18/2002 at 09:25:56
From: Doctor Sarah
Subject: Re: Math

Hi Alex - thanks for writing to Dr. Math.

Percent and percentage are often confused in both speech and writing.

From Merriam-Webster Online:

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary

percent
1 plural percent
a : one part in a hundred
b : PERCENTAGE (a large percent of his income)

percentage
1 a : a part of a whole expressed in hundredths
b : the result obtained by multiplying a number
by a percent
2 a : a share of winnings or profits
b : ADVANTAGE, PROFIT (no percentage in going
around looking like an old sack of laundry
-- Wallace Stegner)
3   : an indeterminate part : PROPORTION
4 a : PROBABILITY
b : favorable odds

The use of percent for percentage is becoming more and more common:

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English
http://www.bartleby.com/68/11/4511.html

percent, percentage (nn.)

"Percentage is the more widely accepted noun,
especially in Edited English, but Informal use
of percent (What percent of your time do you spend
watching TV?) seems thoroughly established...."

But see Prof. Charles Darling's online Guide to Grammar and Writing
(recommended):

http://ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/notorious2.htm

"We use the word percent as part of a numerical
expression (e.g., Only two percent of the
students failed.). We use the word percentage
to suggest a portion (e.g., The percentage of
students who fail has decreased.)."

This is the preferred usage for written English.

- Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Definitions
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Fractions

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