I have read an article from IELTS:

We invested fifteen of the seventy-five-thousand-pound prize money to help secure our future.

Does the 'fifteen' in the sentence mean 15% or fifteen thousand pound?

  • It's ambiguous. The logical interpretation from the context is 15,000 out of 75,000 (=20%). But it could mean 15 out of 75,000 (=0.02%)
    – fixer1234
    Mar 8, 2017 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


It means £15000. In the sentence 75000 possesses fifteen so it can't be percentage. Now, being £15000 is only assumed, it could literally mean only £15 but that's unlikely since they're talking about securing their future.

  • Nice point about the context. In a similar way, if I said, "We spent fifteen of the 75,000 prize money so we could buy lunch," I'd likely be talking about £15, not £15000.
    – J.R.
    Mar 8, 2017 at 10:30

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