billions of dollars (in or of) potential fines.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nagomi, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. nagomi Senior Member

    "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
  2. truffe2miel

    truffe2miel Senior Member

    French (France)

    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).
  3. rhitagawr

    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.
  4. andrewg927 Senior Member

    Denver CO
    English - American
    Now you know.
  5. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    British English
    You'd definitely say £1,000,000 pounds in (not of) tenners. (I.e. 100,000 £10-notes.)

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