Help me phrase it, please. I want to say, 'the company's 100% stock was sold to [...]'. Alas, I haven't found many matches in Goggle News for this combination. Is it wrong/clumsy? How can I say it the right way? (I want to stress that all its shares, not just a majority stake, were sold to a new proprietor so I want to include '100%' somehow) I don't like this, '100% of the company's shares/stock was sold to [...]' because of the preposition. I would prefer a more concise language, if possible (that's why I tried to pull it off using '100%' as a modifier). It also applies to 'all of the company's shares'

  • It's worth pointing out that in English, "Stock" can refer to either "Stocks and shares" or the physical goods a company currently has to sell. If I were to purchase 100% of a butchers stock, that would normally mean I had bought all of their meat, rather than the business itself.
    – DBS
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 10:15
  • @DBS That's true, but a context where it's ambiguous is extremely unlikely. If it's a possibility, the speaker will usually say "shares of stock" to make it explicit.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


If you really wanted to avoid the preposition, you could say that "the company's entire stock was sold...".

That said, "100% of the company's stock" is idiomatic and natural, and does not feel inconcise. English uses prepositions quite liberally, and they don't really make the sentence feel wordy.

*"The company's 100% stock" is not proper English, unfortunately.

  • 3
    I love it when people who answer just get right to the point. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 13:45
  • Why? 10 more to go... Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 15:34
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    @SergeyZolotarev you can only use "X percent Y" to mean that something consists of Y in that proportion (eg. "the human body is 60 percent water", or "the group was 20 percent students"). If you want to say that something is a specific part of the larger whole, you use "X percent of Y". For example, if a group is 20% students, it means that 20% of the group are students. If a group is 20% of students, it means that out of all the students, 20% of them are in that group. In your case, it's the usage with "of" that's applicable-you want to say that the stock sold is a specific part of all stock. Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 15:56
  • "The group was 20 percent students" has the same meaning as "20 percent of the group was students". You could say "The company's stock was 100 percent sold to ..." which means "100 percent of the company's stock was sold to ...". IMO, it sounds informal, but not wrong, to use this structure with a verb after the percentage. Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 14:17
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    @user253751 "The company's stock was 100% sold to..." immediately reads to me as "I am 100% sure the company's stock was sold to..." although it still sounds awkward. I can see your interpretation too though, so I guess it would depend on surrounding context. However, my interpretation only works with 100%, and wouldn't work with any other percentage. Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 15:18

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