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In math a number can be 'rounded' (sounds strange) up or down. For example if I want to round up to the next whole number (the 2.4 gets 3).

How do I express in English that I always want to round down or up.

"Always round down"
"Always round up"

Or is rounding named/expressed different in English?

  • Welcome to ELL.SE! And it's round up. I can't imagine any other question you might have asked. – It's Over Jan 23 '15 at 18:59
  • "Always round up" is fine, but Wikipedia mentions a couple more formal options, too: round away from zero and round toward infinity. – J.R. Jan 24 '15 at 0:01
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The phrase you're looking for is "round off".

"Round off" means "round down or up, whichever is appropriate".

  • Isn't "round up" correct too? Or is it about rounded numbers to larger or smaller? – It's Over Jan 23 '15 at 19:03
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    "Round up" means "round to the next higher number". "Round down" means "round to the next lower number". "Round off" means "do whichever of 'round up' or 'round down' is correct." I do occasionally see "round up" used to mean "round off", but that's ambiguous. – Stephen Dunscombe Jan 23 '15 at 19:06
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    Rounding up: 4.7 to 5. Rounding down: 4.2 to 4. Rounding off: either of these. – Stephen Dunscombe Jan 23 '15 at 19:06
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    Ok. So saying "Always round up" (4.4 -> 5), "Always round down" (4.6 -> 4), "Always round off" (4.4 -> 4; 4.6 -> 5) is correct, right? (want to add that to a UI but I was unsure how to name the labels). – Stephan Jan 23 '15 at 19:10
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    This shouldn't be the 'correct' answer - in coding, 'round off' means nothing - it's ambiguous to a BrE ear anyway, as it is more likely to refer to smoothing wood than maths. Rounding is up or down, floor or ceiling. The true answer isn't 'English' but it is 'coding' which has its own language. – gone fishin' again. Jan 23 '15 at 20:04

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