# “mixing in the 1:1 proportion” or “mixing in the proportion of 1:1” or..?

How does one go about decribing proportions?

The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in the 1:1 proportion.

Or

The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in 1:1 proportion.

Or

The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in a 1:1 proportion.

Or

The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in the proportion of 1:1.

Or somehow else? Maybe it is "in a 1:1 ratio"?

• The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in a 1:1 ratio. – gattsbr Jul 11 '16 at 19:03
• I much prefer "equal proportions" when talking about a 1:1 mixture as Khan mentioned in their answer. 'The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in equal proportions.' – ColleenV Jul 11 '16 at 22:43
• @ColleenV - Me too, but I asked just in case I come across a similar construction with other values. – CowperKettle Jul 12 '16 at 0:52

The basic ingredients are limestone and clay in the proportion 2:1.

In the proportion of 1:1, though not used commonly, is correct grammatically. You can also say in equal proportions, in the 1:1 proportion, or in the proportion 1:1.

I think in the 1:1 proportion and in equal proportions sound more idiomatic.

The blank solution was prepared by mixing an aliquot of water with 2-mercaptoethanol-containing loading buffer in a 1:1 proportion.

is how you should say it.

The 1:1 proportion implies that you only have a single "1:1 proportion" to assign to things. If more than one thing can be "1:1 proportion" then say "a 1:1 proportion."

You probably don't technically need the article there but I would include it to make it easier to read.

"A proportion of 1:1" is not incorrect, but a little wordy. However it does put emphasis on the value of the proportion, so if you mean "A proportion of 1:1 versus any other proportion" then saying "A proportion of 1:1" is OK.

Ratio might be more correct because a ratio is a comparison of two values whereas a proportion is a comparison of two ratios. But all values are technically ratios (e.g. 1 = 1/1, 2 = 2/1) and if the values could be fractional then proportion might be better.

• "The 1:1 proportion implies that you only have a single "1:1 proportion" to assign to things." ---- It's so weird, from the standpoint of a person for whom English is not a native language. Thinking logically, there is only one "1:1 proportion" or "1:1 ratio". – CowperKettle Jul 11 '16 at 14:22
• @CowperKettle The articles modify "proportion" not "1:1". So there are many (infinite) proportions; this solution is made using one of them. Thus, "a 1:1 proportion". – No More Secrets Jul 11 '16 at 17:30