Good afternoon.

I know all languages have exceptions.

But I can't find any cases where "percentage-wise" which is adverb is used as an adjective.

Since I have encountered the the phrase " identify ........... by one of percentage-wise and optimal gross margin", I am so confused.

How should I interpret the sentence? I think that the sentence means ".. by one of percentage-wise margin and optimal gross margin." but then, "percentage-wise" should be adjective. :< Please help me. Thanks in advance.

  • I suggest, if you agree with my answer below, that you update the context and punctuation of the phrase. It seems to be inaccurately transcribed. Jan 9, 2015 at 9:01

2 Answers 2


You've asked two questions.

(1) Can "percentage-wise" be used as an adjective.

Yes. "The percentage-wise method of calculating the metric has many advantages."

(2) What's the interpretation of "by one of percentage-wise and optimal gross margin" which is taken from Patent US 7979299 B1.

Part of the issue is that quote has been taken out of it's context. Also, it's missing some of the original punctuation. Here's the original context, as taken from Patent US7979299:

Methods and apparatus for optimizing markdown pricing


  1. A method of optimizing scheduling of markdown pricing for one or more related items at a plurality of retail sites, the method comprising:

for each retail site in the plurality of retail sites, identifying a type of related items based, at least in part on, whether markdown schedules for individual items would be substantially similar if optimized separately;

determining which retail sites from the plurality of retail sites have similar metrics, the metrics identifying which retail sites are equally close to selling out the type of related items by one of, percentage-wise and optimal gross margin, given a current price of the type of related items; [NOTE: emphasis added for this question/answer only]

Note that among legal documents, patents are notoriously difficult to interpret. In fact, interpretations of the meanings of patents are often decided in court within the context of an infringement of patent lawsuit!

When the phrase "by one of" is followed by a comma, colon, or "the following", it might suggest a listing of separate items. But other times, not. Let's consider another sentence which may be a bit easier to comprehend:

  • "He can make great food by one of, spicy and hot recipes, to which said patent Section 6 does forth suggest patently patent stuff stuff stuff..."

Now does this mean "spicy, hot recipes" or "spicy recipes and hot recipes"? Since we have a list, it must be the latter. But additional sentence complexity can make it more ambiguous. Practically speaking, the answer could very well depend on what is decided in a court of law.


identify (something) by one of percentage-wise and optimal gross margin.

At best it does not seem natural. What is the source and context?

I think it would be better said as:

identify (something) by percentage and optimal gross margin


identify (something) by means of percentage and optimal gross margin

  • It's from patent context. so I can't omit 'one of'. So, 'percentage-wise margin' is acceptable?
    – Zoie
    Jan 9, 2015 at 6:21
  • The usage of "percentage-wise" in the example does not make sense to me. What does "percentage-wise" refer to? It seems like a description of something else, but that needs to be established to think of percentage-wise as an adjective.
    – user3169
    Jan 9, 2015 at 6:45

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