How I should read discount rates like the following:

a $3.50 discount

I'm not sure if I should say

"a three-fifty dollar discount,"

"a three dollar and fifty cent discount,"

or just "a three-fifty discount."

  • There's some useful Markdown formatting you can use to indent quotes, format lists, etc. on SE. I'd check it out :]
    – user10893
    Mar 14, 2013 at 4:48
  • Just don't go overboard--too much formatting makes things harder to read
    – user10893
    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:03
  • Also, I suspect you would benefit from joining the English Language Learners site. Mar 14, 2013 at 5:14
  • 1
    Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/107238/14666
    – Kris
    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:30

3 Answers 3


The first one would never be correct. The second one is correct. The third one is acceptable, but not the best way of saying it.


I think a three dollar fifty discount is the most common.

  • Dollar is singular because it is modifying a noun.

  • It's common to abbreviate and fifty cents to fifty after a dollar amount.

  • I'm not sure I agree. Generally, the "three fifty" short form is use as an noun, not an adjective. "The cost is three fifty," but usually "the three dollar and fifty cent cup of coffee."
    – jbeldock
    Mar 16, 2013 at 0:45
  • I said three dollar fifty discount, not three fifty discount.
    – Pitarou
    Mar 17, 2013 at 8:10
  • Indeed, you did! :-) I find the form "three dollar fifty" even less common than "three fifty" or "three dollars and fifty cents."
    – jbeldock
    Mar 17, 2013 at 20:58
  • We must speak different dialects, then.
    – Pitarou
    Mar 17, 2013 at 23:22

The only correct reading in American English is "a three dollar and fifty cent discount." The "and...cent" is virtually never dropped when the number is used adjectivally, as it is here. (On the other hand, it is nearly always dropped when it is used as a noun: "How much do I owe you?" "Three fifty.") I believe I have heard the British say something like "a three pound fifty discount," (missing the "and...pence"), but I defer to a native speaker across the pond on that one.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.