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Which one is most correct way of describing the number? Should it say:

reported that 414 (which is 78%) of (the) 530 people.

or is it:

reported that 414 (which is 78%) OUT of (the) 530 people.

  • Where the subject of the sentence? It was reported that 414, or 78%, of the 530 people [who did something]. No need for out of here. It is not wrong to put it in, just wordy. – Lambie Jan 10 '18 at 15:30
  • The original sentence was supposed to be "One of the earliest studies referred to this topic reported that 414 (which is 78%) of the 530 patients had so and so..." – abd786 Jan 10 '18 at 15:37
  • @abd786 You can still edit your question to add the Original sentence. – Lars Mekes Jan 10 '18 at 15:43
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Either is correct, and you will see both.

The problem comes from the fact that it is quite idiomatic to say "414 out of 530" but not at all idiomatic to say "78% out of 530." With the sentence constructed as you currently have it, some will find awkward whatever you say.

I might advise rewriting along the lines of "414 out of 530 (78%) ..." or just "78% of 530 ..."

EDIT: When talking about inferences from samples, it is important to know the size of the sample to estimate the reliability of any inferences being made. But what we are usually interested in are the proportions shown by the sample because we want to extrapolate to the overall population that the sample is presumed to represent. Thus, upon reflection, saying "78% of a sample of 530" is probably best if the 530 are a sample. That is, your English should make clear whether you are dealing with descriptive statistics or inferential statistics.

  • Hello! I had to re-formulate the following sentence "A study by *** reported that 78% of the 530 people had these symptoms." So here I wanted point out the numbers instead of percentages and wondered whether I should write "out of ...". My sentence: "One of the earliest studies referred to this topic reported that 414 (which is 78%) of the 530 patients had so and so..." Thank you very much! – abd786 Jan 10 '18 at 15:34

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