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I am describing a chart in that chart 22% of Spanish people consumed fast food. Are the two sentences below correct?

Is there a difference between these sentences in meaning?

  1. Spain's fast food consumption was 22% in 2002

  2. The consumption of fast food in Spain was 22% in 2002

The former seems natural to me with possessive. Is it similar to "The people who consumed fastfood was 22% in 2002 in Spain"? This sentence seems ok to me. Is there a difference in meaning between sentence one and this?

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  • What do you think? Is there any reason a possessive is wrong here? The boy's father was waiting in the car. The father of the boy was waiting in the car. Any difference?
    – Lambie
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:34
  • Thx. The former seems natural to me with possessive. Is it similar to ( The people who consumed fastfood was 22% in 2002 in Spain) this sentence seems ok to me . Is there a difference in meaning between sentence one and this?
    – Rafeq
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:46
  • I gave you another example.
    – Lambie
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:49
  • I was referring to your sentence by writing "The former seems natural to me with possessive"
    – Rafeq
    Nov 14, 2023 at 16:02
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    The people who consumed fastfood was 22% in 2002 in Spain is not a valid sentence. People can't be a percentage. The proportion of people in Spain who consumed fast food (two words) in 2002 was 22%. Nov 14, 2023 at 16:27

1 Answer 1

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There isn't really any significant difference between your two examples, any more than there is a difference between "my father's son" and "the son of my father". Spain's fast food consumption means the fast food consumed by Spain.

On a separate issue, I find the both statements to be unclear. When you quote a percentage it must be clear to the reader what it represents. What is the numerator and denominator used in calculating this rate. Does it mean that 22% of all food eaten is 'fast' food? Is that by volume of food? Or are you counting meals? Do you mean 22% of Spanish people eat fast food? Grammatically, either statement is fine; but you need to consider whether it makes any logical or statistical sense.

Your suggested alternative sounds like it is a percentage of people. Assuming that is correct, I would say:

  • In Spain, 22% of people consumed fast food in 2002.
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    Exactly. Neither of OP’s versions can be recommended because they are far too ambiguous. They could even mean something like, out of all the fast food eaten in Europe, Spain’s consumption constitutes 22%. Nov 14, 2023 at 22:23
  • Thank you. I edited the first main post . I hope it is clear now
    – Rafeq
    Nov 15, 2023 at 1:39
  • @Rafeq It is clearer, and I still believe my suggested sentence is the best way to express that.
    – Astralbee
    Nov 15, 2023 at 15:22

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