How do you read the % sign and what does it mean?


The % sign represents the percentage. When reading it, it says “percent”. For example:

  • “We offer a discount of 30 % on selected products.
  • “We offer a discount of 30 percent on selected products.

The % symbol is very similar to fraction symbols, such as ½ or ¼. This is because the percentage is a form of fraction, where the denominator is 100. That is, the unit is divided into 100 equal parts.

For example: if a seller’s commission is fifteen % (15 for every 100), when making a sale of 200 pesos, the commission will be 30 pesos ($200 divided by 100 by 15 = $30).

percentage calculation

As with all fractions, a high percentage does not necessarily imply a large actual amount. For example, the ratio 7/8 is high and the ratio 1/8 is low. However, 7/8 of a piece of candy is much less than 1/8 of a cake. In other words, to know the real amount, we must always know the total amount of the unit, that is, what is being divided into equal parts.

Other mathematical symbols

  1. It is a symbol similar to a percentage, but it refers to the number of units per thousand. That is, the total is divided into a thousand units. It is used for percentages less than 1% or with many decimal places. For example, a percentage of 4.356% is equal to 43.56 ‰. A percentage of 0.054% is equal to 0.54 ‰
  2. As we saw the sign / separates the numerator from the denominator of a fraction. What appears before the / sign is the numerator and what appears after it is the denominator. That is: Numerator / denominator.
    The denominator indicates how many parts the unit has been divided into. The numerator indicates how many of those parts are being taken. If the numerator is greater than the denominator, it means that more than one unit is being taken. For example:
    • In a single afternoon the children used 5/4 of the material that was available for the day. That is, the children used ¼ more than what was available for today.
    • We have already consumed 2/3 of our water reserves. In other words, there is still 1/3 of the water reserves.
  1. The signs < Y > show relationships of major and minor.

    < reads as “is less than”. For example: 1 < 3
    > reads as “is greater than”. For example: 5 > 3

    The signs Y they are used to delimit sets, since in addition to indicating relationships of greater and lesser they accept the possibility that they are equal. For example:

    • x belongs to group A if x ≤ 10 (x belongs to group A if x is less than or equal to 10)
    • x belongs to group B if x > 10 and ≤ 20 (x belongs to group b if x is greater than 10 and less than or equal to 20, that is, all numbers from 11 to 20 belong to group B)