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Context (New York Times),

Edakuni Eiichi, the chef, turns out innovative dishes like daikon rolls stuffed with foie gras and sweet potatoes. The set 10-course meal, which changes monthly, is 3,680 yen (about $40 at 91 yen to the dollar).

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The set 10-course meal, which changes monthly, is 3,680 yen (about $40 at 91 yen to the dollar).

In this sentence, at 91 yen to the dollar informs the reader that this is the rate used to calculate the conversion of 3,680, i.e. a dollar is worth 91 yen or 91 yen yields one dollar. If you divide 3680 by 91, you get approximately 40.

Here are similar hypothetical examples:

  • The set 10-course meal, which changes monthly, is 3,680 yen (about $37 at 99 yen to the dollar).
  • The set 10-course meal, which changes monthly, is 161 euro (about $85 at .53 euro to the dollar).

Including exchange rates in monetary conversions is important in any written work, as these rates are not constant.

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100 euro to the dollar? Hopefully we’re not getting there! Or else I’m moving abroad… –  F'x Aug 27 '11 at 20:04
    
My example was ridiculous!! Hopefully that never happens. Editing to a saner scenario... –  Jimi Oke Aug 27 '11 at 20:07
    
Don't panic, Google is telling me it should be "about 1.26 dollar to the euro" right now. –  Sebastián Grignoli Jun 16 '12 at 0:39
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At 91 yen to the dollar means assuming that 91 yen is equal to a dollar. (3680 yen divided by 91 yen per dollar equals about 40 dollars.)

The set 10-course meal, which changes monthly, is 3,680 yen (about $40, assuming that 91 yen is equal to a dollar).

However, the wording of the explanatory quote above is not as good as the wording in your example; the article's wording is more natural.

Per is also a common word which is used in a similar situation: 91 yen per dollar is the same as 91 yen to the dollar.

The set 10-course meal, which changes monthly, is 3,680 yen (about $40, at 91 yen per dollar).

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Thank you for giving structure of this phrase. Great help! –  Socorro Aug 28 '11 at 6:47
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