Per cent vs Percent

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What’s the difference between them?

Per cent

Meaning:

'for each hundred.' It is used to express a number as a fraction of 100, such as '20 percent' meaning 20/100 or 0.2.

Examples:

1. The per cent decrease in sales was unexpected.

2. The per cent of salt in seawater is relatively constant.

3. The bank offered an interest rate of 5 per cent.

Percent

Meaning:

Meaning is the same, but such spelling is mostly used in American English.

Examples:

1. The percent of students who graduated with honors was higher than ever this year.

2. The percent of people with health insurance has been steadily declining in recent years.

3. Over 60 percent of the population voted in the last election.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Per cent

1. Percentage

2. Proportion

3. Fraction

4. Percentage point

5. Percentile

1. Fraction

2. Ratio

3. Proportion

4. Denomination

5. Inverse Percentage

Percent

1. Percentage

2. Proportion

3. Fraction

4. Percentage point

5. Percentile

1. Fraction

2. Ratio

3. Proportion

4. Denomination

5. Inverse Percentage

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Per cent", "Percent".

1. In American English, the term is typically spelled 'percent.'

2. In British English, the term is spelled 'per cent'.

3. If you are in doubt about which spelling to use, it is best to use the spelling preferred by the country or region in which you are writing.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word 'per cent' be used?

The phrase 'per cent' is mainly used to express a percentage or proportions. It is typically used in formal contexts, such as academic writing, business reports, and scientific papers. For example, 'The increase in sales was 5 per cent this quarter.'

When is the appropriate context for using the second word 'percent'?

The phrase 'per cent' is mainly used to express a percentage or proportions. Such spelling is more widelt recognized in American English, while 'per cent' is more used in British English.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

Yes, both words 'per cent' and 'percent' share the same pronunciation. It is pronounced as 'per-sent'.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake is to use 'percent' in British English and vice versRemember that 'per cent' as two words is correct for British English, while 'percent' as one word is correct for American English.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The interest rate on the loan is five ________.

2. After the recent poll in the UK, 45 ________ of the respondents favored the new proposal.

3. In the US, approximately 60 ________ of households own a pet.

4. The product was on sale with a 30 ________ discount.

5. The population growth rate is about 2.5 ________ annually.

6. According to the research paper from Oxford, 70 ________ of the participants had a positive response.

1. Percent

Explanation: Theres no specific clue indicating British or American context. Therefore, both per cent and percent can be correct. However, percent is the more commonly used variant in a general context.

2. Per cent

Explanation: The mention of UK gives a clue to use the British spelling of the term, which is per cent.

3. Percent

Explanation: The mention of US provides the clue to use the American spelling, which is percent.

4. Percent

Explanation: Theres no specific clue indicating British or American context. Therefore, both per cent and percent can be correct. However, percent is the more commonly used variant in a general context.

5. Percent

Explanation: Again, theres no specific regional context provided, so both variants can be correct. Percent is generally more common in global communications.

6. Per cent

Explanation: The mention of Oxford provides a clue to lean towards the British spelling, which is per cent.

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