Which one is correct?

  • $15 for two beers seems a little excessive.
  • Two beers for $15 seems a little excessive.

The price is supposed to be excessive. It's too pricy.

  • 1
    We wouldn't say that a price is pricy. The price is excessive; the beer is pricy. Sep 7, 2022 at 8:30
  • @MichaelHarvey Thanks Mike for the correction! Sep 7, 2022 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


They both mean the same thing and no one will notice any difference when you say either.

I'm not sure why people think that the order of X for X has any influence on the intended meaning. The meaning is always supplied via context not by the order of those words.

For example -

Two horses for $20,000!
Forty thousand dollars for two horses!

Which means which? Without context we do not know.

If I were relaying this information to someone, I would use my voice to indicate whether I thought this was a good deal or not.

For example consider the italicized text below as being said in a tone that is questioning (my voice rises at the end) and disdainful (I change my tone to something that sounds a bit more disapproving).

Two horses for twenty thousand dollars?

I've let you know that I think $20,000 is too much for two horses. As long as I keep my questioning, disdainful tone on the money the meaning remains the same even when I switch the clauses.

Twenty thousand dollars for two horses?

If it's a good deal, I will exclaim one or both parts of the sentence. Consider the italicized text below to be said with excited anticipation. Maybe I even emphasize the word two, meaning that paying that much for one would be expected but acquiring two at that price is an extraordinary circumstance.

Two Lipizzaners for $20,000?

As long as I maintain the excited, exclamatory tone, switching the order has no effect on the meaning.

Twenty thousand for two Lipizzaners?

  • Your explanation is reasonable! Sep 7, 2022 at 13:41

The first one makes more sense. As you say, it's the price that's excessive. The second one could sound as though you think you should have got less beer for your money!


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