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This is a sentence from an AP News article.

Economic output plunged at a record-shattering 31% annual rate in 2020′s April-June quarter.

I suggest 'plunged to' instead of 'plunged at'.

Am I wrong?

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    It's such a terrible sentence that it's unclear to me how the parts relate. It's possible that "at a record-shattering annual rate" modifies "plunge" by explaining how it plunged, which would be acceptable grammar, but I'm not confident that's the intention.
    – gotube
    Feb 17, 2022 at 2:45
  • Thank you very much.
    – user149418
    Feb 17, 2022 at 2:49

1 Answer 1

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It's correct as written at least from the intent side; he's saying it went down by 31%, not to 31%. But that said, I'm not sure it's actually grammatical to phrase it this way.

This is a convoluted sentence at the least, which (in the context) makes me a bit suspicious of the author's intent, as does referring to an annual rate over a three-month period. Presumably the actual drop was 7.75% over one quarter, which would be a 31% drop if it continued for the whole year, which it didn't.

There are other phrasings that could be more clear, but I suspect the author didn't want you to understand the sentence easily; they wanted you to be shocked by the huge percentage.

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  • Thank you very much.
    – user149418
    Feb 17, 2022 at 3:21

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