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Hello everyone,

First, there are two things A and B. B is smaller than A by two thirds in length, A is 3 c and B is 2 cm.

I know an expression to say this in 'B is two thirds of A". Then, do you say "B is smaller than A by two thirds" to describe the given relation?

When someone uses an expression saying 'A is bigger than B by two thirds", does this describe the given relation incorrectly and does it actually make A smaller than B? Would you say A is bigger than B by one and one thirds (1+1/3), though this appears quite complicating? If the former still describe the relation correctly then it would not be ideal to use as it might be confusing?

Thanks for your time and attention for those reading through my question in advance.

Regards,
Souroin,
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Comments  
If I were told that A is bigger than B by two-thirds, I would think that A was one and two-thirds times the size of B. For example, if A were 3 'size units', then I would think that B was 5 'size units'.
Edit: It should be: For example, if B were 3 'size units', then I would think that A was 5 'size units'.

CJ
Hello CalifJim,

Thanks for very quick comment. I would appreciate if you can space bit more of your time on this, thanks. I understood that "A is bigger than B by two thirds in ex length" would say actually "A is 3 cm, smallar than B (5 cm)", so 'two-thirds" inverses the literal bigger 'A > B' direction. Am I following your explanation?

I got bit confused by my own questioning, two-thirds of A (3) in my question would be 2 cm = B, correct? Quite a basic question, but 2/3 should be spelled out as "one and two thirds?" Then how do you spell out 1 and 2/3 (5/3)?

I imagined when an expression says "B is smaller than A by two thirds in length (cm)" it says B is 2 cm, smaller than A (3 cm) by two thirds. Am I wrong here?
Thanks for your time again.

I might need more postings to understand this apparently complicated expression of two-thirds.

Regards,
Souroin
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two-thirds = 2/3
one and two-thirds = 5/3

I'm not sure what the standard is with regard to expressions like "bigger than X by two-thirds" or "smaller than X by two-thirds". That's why I phrased my answer in terms of what I would think (i.e., what I would guess), if someone used those expressions.

I think (I guess) that "A is bigger than B by two-thirds" (or "by 2/3") means that if you add 2/3 the size of B to the original size of B you will get the size of A. Mathematically, this is A = 5/3 times B.

Conversely, I think (I guess) that "A is smaller than B by two-thirds" (or "by 2/3") means that if you take 2/3 the size of B, you will get the size of A. Mathematically, this is A = 2/3 times B.

I personally don't know if this is the standard way of interpreting these expressions mathematically, so others may have a different opinion. Personally, I would state the relationships more accurately in terms of the mathematics itself, i.e., with an equation, if it were really necessary for clear communication.

It might be better to see what others have to say about this.

CJ
Dear CalifJim

Again, thank you for additional comments. Now it's not confusing and quite clear rather. A comparative form of an adjective actually decides the relation between things compared. Your reply sounds very logically to me.

Yeah, I knew you just mentioned how it might appear to you, but I always value how natives imagine and interpret phrases as natives communicate within commonly shared sense. As you said, there are many ways to ensure precisions by giving equation, graphic account (not here) etc., that's one of the communication techniques as well.

I will leave it to others who have their says like other ways of describing this sort of things and other opinions.

Thank you very much Jim.

Best regards,
Souroin
Hello Souroin

A = 3cm B = 2cm

You can say 'B is two-thirds of the size of A' (in BrE).

MrP
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To CalifJim,

Re: "A is smaller than B by two-thirds" (or "by 2/3") means that if you take 2/3 the size of B, you will get the size of A. Mathematically, this is A = 2/3 times B.

I disagree with you here. Allow me to give you an example:-

i) A is smaller than B by two inches = { A = B - 2"}
ii) A is smaller than B by 1/3 (of B) = { A = B - B/3( one third of B)}
iii) A is smaller than B by 2/3(of B) = { A = B - 2B/3 ( two-thirds of B)}

i.e. If B is "9", then A is only "3" and NOT "6" (2/3 x 9) as your example above suggests.
Hello MrPedantic

Thank you for your comment on this and kind attention. I will note this way of expression.

Sincerely,
A usual English expression is "Jack is taller than Bill by the head". So "by ~" expresses the difference of two things. When we talk about a math equation like "1=5/3- 2/3", we can speak like "1 is smaller than 5/3 by 2/3". But when we are talking about a comparison between two physical quantities, we should say like either "A is smaller than B by 2/3 of A" or "A is smaller than B by 2/3 of B" to make the difference consistent with A and B in respect of the physical unit.

paco
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