a 99% confidence

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michael13

Senior Member
Chinese
When confidence means the feeling that you can trust, believe in and be sure about the abilities or good qualities of somebody/something, it is not usually used with a/an, but can I say these?: (my sentences

-I have a 99% confidence in his plan.
-I have a 100% confidence in his plan.

Michael.
 
  • michael13

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    So according this case, can I draw an inference and write this?:

    -The factory is operating at 90% capacity.

    I somehow feel a/an is required before the percentage or at a capacity of 90% sounds better. I've consulted several dictionaries; they don't have similar example sentences.
     

    kool-wind

    Senior Member
    British English
    You wouldn't use 'a' in BE either.

    '90%' is qualifying 'capacity'. Compare it to "The factory is operating at full capacity", and you will see that the indefinite article is not required.

    I think the problem you may have had with, "I have a 100% confidence in his plan" is that when you say it - aloud or in your head - 100 becomes either 'one hundred' or 'a hundred'.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    You wouldn't use 'a' in BE either.
    Agreed in this particular case, but it's not as simple as saying "don't use 'a' before percentages". I'd say it depends on the noun involved. You wouldn't say "I have a confidence", you'd say "I have confidence". But you would say "There is a chance of brain damage", not "There is chance of brain damage".

    Then we slot in the percentage, leaving the 'a' in place if it was there already, and not putting one in when there wasn't any: "There is a 40% chance", but "I have 99% confidence".
     
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