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If I have two apples, one is smaller (/bigger) than the second. What's the way to ask about the differences between them in percents?

Could it be correct to say

1) "In how many percents is this one smaller than the second?"

Or simply I should omit the preposition (in) and ask:

2) "How many percents is this one smaller than the second?"

Or maybe neither work here and an other way that I didn't mention is correct?

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It is not correct English to ask how many percents. Per cent means per hundred and you can't really ask how many per hundreds is something.

The easiest way to ask is: In percentage terms, how much smaller/bigger is this apple than that?

You could also ask: What percentage smaller/bigger is this apple than that?

You could make it more complicated and ask: What percentage is this apple of that? but people don't speak like that and might be a bit surprised if you asked them in that fashion.

  • Additionally, it would be wrong to ask "What percentage is this apple of that?" because that implies the one apple is a subset of the other. Also percentage difference is directional. 80 is 20% smaller than 100, but 100 is 25% greater than 80. 100 -20% = 80 but 80+20% = 96 – wolfsshield May 1 at 20:58
  • "How many percent smaller?" works for me (but maybe not in formal writing). – Anonymous May 1 at 23:50
  • Thank you for the answer! Iv'e learnt something new today:) what's a about "By how much percent is this bigger than that"? (It something usually I need for formal writing as an question. While if I'm not mistaken your suggestions are for spoken language. Isn't it?) – Judicious Allure May 2 at 4:08

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