How can I pronounce @ symbol: At / At the rate?
Can I use it in a sentence? Please explain with an example.

  • you can use it to specify a time, e.g. "Let's meet @ 5pm", but don't use it in formal writing.
    – roman m
    Oct 21, 2010 at 22:26
  • I'm sure I remember reading many years ago that "@" was called an arabesque; but I can't now find any conclusive reference to this on the web. So perhaps my recollection is faulty. Nov 26, 2011 at 20:15
  • 1
    There is quite a list of pronunciations here... ss64.com/bash/syntax-pronounce.html
    – GEdgar
    Jan 25, 2012 at 14:28
  • This symbol is mostly know as "arroba" at my country. It is used to mean 15 kgs or 33 pounds, and it's a pretty common unit in the farming scope, mostly with cattle. This (a unit of measurement) seems to be the original, intended usage of this little funny guy, but at some point it got some new uses.
    – T. Sar
    Jul 6, 2017 at 11:43

4 Answers 4


How can I pronounce @ symbol: At / At the rate?

The "at mark", "at sign", or "at symbol" is its usual name. According to Wikipedia its official name is "commercial at".

Can I use it in a sentence? Please explain with an example.

It has no function in English sentences.

  • 7
    "My email address is [email protected]." You are saying that the @ has no function here? Or that this is not an English sentence?
    – Kosmonaut
    Sep 7, 2010 at 15:09
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    @Shinto Sherlock: Isn't it funny that you used @Kosmonaut when you replied to me? You just used @ in a meaningful way in English!
    – Kosmonaut
    Sep 7, 2010 at 16:38
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    Aw please, @ has no function in English sentences.
    – delete
    Sep 7, 2010 at 23:14
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    @Ex-user - @ has plenty of uses in an English sentence. Even more so since the emergence of the web. To say it has no use, do you mean it doesn't have a meaning, what is your argument? When giving an email address @ is used to indicate existence at a certain location replacing 'at' e.g. john 'at' hotmail.com. As indicated by @moioci it was previously used to indicate a price point for a multiple of an item.
    – going
    Jan 27, 2011 at 5:19
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    NB I have never come across the sign referred to as "commercial at" in any contexts other than asking what the sign is called - in standard usage it is simply called "at sign" (or one of the others noted in the answer).
    – psmears
    May 10, 2011 at 21:41

"At" as in "my email address is name at domain dot com."

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    I believe this should be the correct answer, since the question was actually how do I pronouce (as opposed to what is) this symbol. Sep 30, 2010 at 0:24

At sign

The at sign (@), also called the ampersat, apetail, arroba, atmark, acosta, at symbol, commercial at, curlat or monkey tail, ...

If you would like to mention the symbol by name, ampersat seems to be the most easily recognized among its many names.

UrbanDictionary and GoogleAnswers mention that it is also called the 'amphora'.


Many years ago, when email addresses were a rarity (probably 1988 or so), the British newspaper The Guardian asked readers of the technology supplement to answer this question. I think the most popular answer from readers was (not surprisingly) at: however my favourite suggestion, based on the visual appearance of the character, was bellybutton.

I think it's a shame that didn't catch on: doesn't "my email address is john dot smith bellybutton hotmail dot com" have a certain ring to it?

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