I have found related questions but my doubt remains and is best explained with an example. Consider the following sentence in a Finance academic article, where it is common to use the dollar symbol instead of the word "dollar":

A $12 midpoint followed by a $2 price revision should have the same consequences as a $18 midpoint...

I argue that the third indefinite article should in fact be an "AN", but my coauthor wants an "A". There is agreement about the first two usages of "A".

My argument: the way in which the last part of the sentence is read is "... same consequences as an eighteen dollars midpoint..." But of course it could also be read as *"... same consequences as a dollar eighteen midpoint...", which I personally find rather awkward.

Is there any guidance as to the best practice when a dollar amount is preceded by an indefinite article and a dollar symbol?

There is a question at this link on indefinite articles in front of symbols: What article do we use before a symbol? Is it "an @" or "a @"?. While it is a useful article, it does not address my question. Differently from that case, in my case it is not clear that the name of the symbol (what it represents) is read first. That's exactly the issue: if not read first, I should pick a or an depending on the number and not the symbol.


PS: As mentioned, there are several similar questions asked in other posts. However, the particular feature of my question is that there is a symbol between the article and the noun AND the symbol is pronounced after the noun. I believe there is added value in keeping this question as is.

  • 4
    Nobody would read "$18" as "dollar eighteen" (especially not aloud, and it is the way a word is pronounced that determines selection of a or an).
    – nnnnnn
    Sep 23, 2021 at 11:52
  • "A dollar eighteen" is $1.18
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 23, 2021 at 12:05
  • I believe the convention is to write it as you would say it, and you would say "an eighteen dollar midpoint". Therefore it should be "an $18 midpoint" rather than "a $18 midpoint". However, I think this is more a question of style than grammar per se. Sep 23, 2021 at 12:58
  • Here's an example: "Suiting a bull on the stock, the 5-star expert establishes a Buy score as well as an $18 cost target that suggests room for 130% growth in the 12 months in advance" From uk.news724.com/en/news/finance/basic-materials/… Sep 23, 2021 at 13:00
  • Thank you all very much! Also thanks for the linked associated questions. I was unable to find these.
    – debrah
    Sep 24, 2021 at 7:51


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