#105 - Percentages - English Grammar

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Percentages refer to a portion or a fraction of a whole. A percentage is an amount that is expressed as a certain portion of 100 parts. The symbol for percent is %.

Percentages in Written Form

Percentages in written form use cardinal numbers. Percentages in numerical form use the number and the % symbol.
  • 10% = ten percent
  • 25% = twenty-five percent
  • 75% = seventy-five percent
  • 100% = one hundred percent

Percentage as a Collective Noun

The word "percentage" is a collective noun. A collective noun indicates a group of people. Depending on the noun used with "percentage", it will determine if you use a singular or plural verb form.

Correct: What percentage of students are going to college?
Incorrect: What percentage of students is going to college?

Correct: Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce these days.
Incorrect: Fifty percent of marriages ends in divorce these days.

Correct: Eighty percent of the house was damaged by the fire.
Incorrect: Eighty percent of the house were damaged by the fire.

Percentage Used Later in a Sentence

If "percentage" comes later in the sentence, the verb will depend on the noun it is referring to.
  • John is donating one hundred percent of his profits to charity.
  • Susan is only working fifty percent of the time.

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