the ratio is... 1 to 1.618

Discussion in 'English Only' started by SophieD, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. SophieD Senior Member

    Here's the whole sentence (it comes from a TV series called Touch) : The ratio is always the same: 1 to 1.618 over and over and over again.

    What does "1 to 1.618" mean?

    Does it mean : 1 : 1.618 ? (1 divided by 1.618 ?) In other words: 1/1.618 ?

    Could you please explain it to me?
  2. I think you need to ask this question on a maths forum.
  3. pwmeek

    pwmeek Senior Member

    SE Michigan, USA
    English - American
    This is a ratio. (You should always check the dictionary before starting a thread. You should also check for previous threads, although a quick survey does not seem to indicate any that address this aspect of ratios.)

    Our dictionary defines it as: the quantitative relation between two amounts showing the number of times one value contains or is contained within the other.

    In English typography this particular ratio (The Golden Ratio) is written " 1:1.618 " and in English speech it is said "one to one point six one eight". These seem to have been combined in your example.

    I would not substitute the division sign ( / ) for the ratio sign ( : ) although dividing is often what you do with ratios when you use them.

    Further mathematical discussion is beyond the scope of Word Reference. If you want more mathematical explanation, feel free to send me a Private Message.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  4. Destruida Senior Member

    English (England)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  5. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    But in more general terms, a ratio is a relationship. So we ask:

    What is the relationship between John and Mary?
    What is John's relationship to Mary?

    The golden mean is the ratio between 1 and 1.618
    The golden mean is the ratio of 1 to 1.618.

    (Almost the same construction as:
    The distance between London and Paris
    The distance from London to Paris

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