billions of dollars (in or of) potential fines.

nagomi

Senior Member
Korean
"So if you multiply that across 50 million users, we're talking about billions of dollars, potentially, that Facebook faces in fines. Why would a number like that, billions of dollars of potential fines, not serve as enough of a deterrent for a company like Facebook?"

a) billions of dollars in potential fines
b) billions of dollars of potential fines
c) potential fines of billions of dollars

How are a,b, and c different?

What I've known is a and c are the same, but I didn't know b would work as well. This is not a written speech, but a part of an interview so the speaker might have mistakenly said 'b', which I'm doubtful.

source: FTC Investigating Whether Facebook Violated Consent Decree
 
  • truffe2miel

    Senior Member
    91
    French (France)
    Hi,

    I feel the part "in fines" is related to the verb "facing" and not to the nominal group "billions of dollars". FB faces something in fines, not in any other kind of penalty (no imprisonment, no loss of business aso).
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    (a) sounds the most likely to me. The preposition is in and not of. At least, it sounds better to me. (c) is correct. I suppose the reason why you've got an of is that potential fines is in a kind of apposition to billions of dollars - a bit like The City of Birmingham.
    Cross-posted.
     

    andrewg927

    Senior Member
    English - American
    "So if you multiply that across 50 million users, we're talking about billions of dollars, potentially, that Facebook faces in fines. Why would a number like that, billions of dollars of potential fines, not serve as enough of a deterrent for a company like Facebook?"

    b) billions of dollars of potential fines

    I didn't know b would work as well.
    Now you know.
     
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