30 dollars recharge card for three

kenny4528

Senior Member
Mandarin, Taiwan
Hi, today I went to buy phone recharge card and said to the cleark:

I want to buy xxx 30 dollars recharge card for three.
and he revealed wonder impression on his face when it came to the part "for three". I know the most idiomatic way of saying this is:

I want to buy three xxx 30 dollars recharge cards.
Is my initial phrasing strange?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes it is: 'for three' means "to share between three people" or some such. It can be awkward saying different numbers consecutively, so you have to make the intonation break clear: I want \/three, \/thirty-dollar \recharge cards. (where \/ is fall-rise tone) I suppose your xxx is the brand name? This makes it easier to say by separating the numbers, but you still need to say them in standard order and would probably also put in a clear tonal break.

    Or you could avoid it by complete rephrasing: I want some xxx thirty-dollar recharge cards - three of them, please.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Yes it is: 'for three' means "to share between three people" or some such. It can be awkward saying different numbers consecutively, so you have to make the intonation break clear: I want \/three, \/thirty-dollar \recharge cards. (where \/ is fall-rise tone) I suppose your xxx is the brand name? This makes it easier to say by separating the numbers, but you still need to say them in standard order and would probably also put in a clear tonal break.

    Or you could avoid it by complete rephrasing: I want some xxx thirty-dollar recharge cards - three of them, please.
    Thank you for your decent reply.(yes, it's a brand name)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top