What percent/percentage of students in class wear/s glasses?

jesusguime

Banned
Chinese
What percent of students in class wears glasses?
What percentage of students in class wear glasses?


Hi,
Which one of the above is the correct one that I should use? If neither, could you reword them to make them right? And tell me the reasons? Thanks.
 
  • jesusguime

    Banned
    Chinese
    Thanks, Dimcl.
    For me, both of the two versions seem all right, but I have the feeling that the first doesn't sound good to you. So I'd like to know what the reasons are. Thank you again in advance.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    You're right - the first ("percent") doesn't work for me. It's likely that some would argue with me but for me, "percent" is only the number or a representation of a number. When speaking about a "portion" of a group (ie. the glasses wearers), the mathematical calculation arrives at a "percentage". It may be that 80 "percent" of the class wears glasses but that means that the "percentage" of the class that wears glasses is 80.

    A conversation might go like this:

    A: "Do you know that 80 percent of the class wears glasses?"
    B: "Wow, that's a high percentage!"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Percentages don't wear glasses, so the verb should be plural to agree with students. "What percent" may be a little more colloquial than "what percentage" since percent is usually preceded by a number, but it sounds less singular than "what percentage" since the latter would refer to an actual quotient, which is singular but doesn't wear glasses. I would probably say: "What is the percentage of students in class who wear glasses?"
     

    jesusguime

    Banned
    Chinese
    You're right - the first ("percent") doesn't work for me. It's likely that some would argue with me but for me, "percent" is only the number or a representation of a number. When speaking about a "portion" of a group (ie. the glasses wearers), the mathematical calculation arrives at a "percentage". It may be that 80 "percent" of the class wears glasses but that means that the "percentage" of the class that wears glasses is 80.

    A conversation might go like this:

    A: "Do you know that 80 percent of the class wears glasses?"
    B: "Wow, that's a high percentage!"

    What percent of students in class wears glasses?

    Thanks, my helpful mentors.
    What about the following? Are they all right to you?
    How many percent of the class wears glasses?
    How many percents of students in this class wear glasses?
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    "Theoretically", you can use the plural "percents" in the same manner that you would use "percentage" but this is very uncommon and might be considered incorrect because of its rarity. I would not, therefore, use it.

    "How many percent" is incorrect. A "percent" or "percentage" is singular in this context so the plural doesn't work.
     

    jesusguime

    Banned
    Chinese
    "Theoretically", you can use the plural "percents" in the same manner that you would use "percentage" but this is very uncommon and might be considered incorrect because of its rarity. I would not, therefore, use it.

    "How many percent" is incorrect. A "percent" or "percentage" is singular in this context so the plural doesn't work.
    Thanks, Dimcl.

    What about this?
    How much percent of students in this class wear glasses?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    What percent of students in this class wear glasses?
    = "What number of students per hundred students in this class wear glasses?"

    How many per cent of students in this class wear glasses?
    = "How many students per hundred in this class wear glasses?"

    How many percents of students in this class wear glasses?
    Well, let's see. 50 percent on Monday, 55 percent on Tuesday, 49 percent on Wednesday. That's 50%, 55%, 49%, so all the percent(age)s wear the little glasses ("%") whenever people choose to write them that way.

    "How much percent" (how much per hundred) seems kind of contradictory to me since "cent" = "hundred" is plural but "how much" is noncount singular, especially "how much percent of students" (How much of a student per hundred students?).
     
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