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I am a non-native English speaker. I am applying for the USA university for management studies. While writing the essay I came across the sentence, "I was 100% confident."

My query:

Is it appropriate to write 100% or should I write cent percent? Does it sound professional?

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    It doesn't make sense, because “cent” is not English. It is, however, the French word for “hundred” :) As I don't have edit rights, could someone edit the question and title so that it makes sense?
    – F'x
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 14:30
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    By the way, user113, sometimes less is more. It may simply be better from a stylistic point of view to say "I was confident" rather than "I was 100% confident."
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 16:27
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    @Jim Oke: Cent means one thing in English; a division of currency/coin. It is plain incorrect to say "cent percent" - perhaps the questioner can clarify what he means.
    – Noldorin
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 17:08
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    @Jimi: You should have said that originally! You just confused me initially hah, but I see your point now. Indeed, "cent percent" seems to be a peculiar term that is unique to Indian English. (It's certainly not used in British English.) Nonetheless, it's probably valid in the dialect relevant to the user, so I've rolled back my edit and added the tag indian-english. :)
    – Noldorin
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 18:04
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    Though he seems to be writing for Americans, in which case it's best to use U.S. English...
    – Noldorin
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 18:05

4 Answers 4

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I would substitute an adjective that means the same thing: totally, completely, absolutely, etc.

As it stands, though, your question makes no sense: "cent percent" is meaningless. Are you asking whether you should spell out "one hundred percent" instead of using numerals? If so, it probably doesn't make a lot of difference. Still, in the context I would use one of the adjectives I suggested here.

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    Indeed, cent percent is unheard of in the US, but not so in old BrE usage and other parts of the English-speaking world. For example: arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/… You could think of it as one for one/cent for cent. I hear it's just about standard usage in India/Pakistan.
    – Jimi Oke
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 14:34
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    @Jimi Okie: True, I have never, ever heard that expression before. Nevertheless, OP is applying to an American university, so avoiding it is probably best.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 16:10
  • Certainly! I only heard of it myself last month and it's not a construction I would use.
    – Jimi Oke
    Commented Jan 22, 2011 at 16:16
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    "Cent per cent" is different from "cent percent". The first means "penny for penny", the second is nonsense.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 12:17
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I would use 100% when it was an actual measurement, and one hundred percent when it's an expression.

After counting, I saw that 100% of the visitors wore hats. At the time, I was one hundred percent sure of my observation. Later I found out that most were not actually hats, but pets.

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Use 100% when you are stating mathematical thought like statistics. Use "one hundred percent" when you are stating non-mathematical thought like a story.

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Late to the party.

I am from India. I suspect the OP is from India. This is a local usage here. I have heard many people saying "cent percent" in place of "100 %" but not aware of the origin/cause of this usage.

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    I think "cent percent" is an Indo-British convention. It is unheard of in American usage. If colloquially used, we would say "100%.". It is a little casual for writing, so another adjective or no adjective would be better.
    – God
    Commented Jan 10, 2019 at 6:49
  • I'm not entirely sure, but I think cent percent comes from the hindi phrase "sat pratishat".
    – novice
    Commented May 5 at 7:33

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