# Expressing percentage reductions in the english languageJuly 23, 2010 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Best way to express a percentange reduction in the english language.

As english isn't my motherlanguage, I am not sure on how to best express the concept behind the following payment scheme.

Mr X is being paid \$100 for each unit delivered, that's his payment rate. After a certain time T, his rate is going to be reduced by 2% on each following year, so that in T+1 he is going to be paid \$98 (100-20% of 100) and on T+2 \$96,04 ( 98-20% of 98). I can't write this example, I'd like to express it in a proper way that is quite compact, as "Mr x rate will be reduced by 2% on each year following time T"

posted by elpapacito to Education (11 answers total)

"After time T, Mr X's rate will be reduced by 2% every year."
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:50 AM on July 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks endsofinvention.

A second question: can accumulability be used to describe the fact that two sums of money can be summed, and are therefore accumulable? Or is it accruable? My dictionaries don't always specify if there's a difference.
posted by elpapacito at 7:22 AM on July 23, 2010

FWIW, I'd say that "starting in/as of Jan 2012, Mr. X's rate . . . " because "After time X" is sometimes ambiguous about when the first 2 percent will be taken off.
posted by jeather at 7:25 AM on July 23, 2010

I think the concept of discounting might be useful for you. Your example might be expressed as "Mr. T will be paid \$100 in the first year. Thereafter, his pay will be discounted by 2% each year."
posted by googly at 7:36 AM on July 23, 2010

"Mr X will be paid \$100 per unit for an initial (time period). Subsequently his rate will be reduced by 2% year-on-year."

The 'year-on-year' part is useful because it states clearly (at least to someone who understand basic finance) that the reduction is based on the previous year's value, not on the initial \$100.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:04 AM on July 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

"After time T, Mr X's rate will be reduced by 2% every year."

To be especially clear, you could even specify, "After time T, Mr X's rate will be reduced by 2% (not 2 percentage points) every year", to make it clear that you don't mean 100, 98, 96, etc.

I suppose this depends on your audience.
posted by surenoproblem at 9:17 AM on July 23, 2010

can accumulability be used to describe the fact that two sums of money can be summed, and are therefore accumulable?

If you're trying to describe something recurring like a fine you might say "fees accrue at a rate of \$10 per day until [condition] is satisfied." If that's not what you mean then you'll have to give us more context because it's not really clear what you're referring to here.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:46 AM on July 23, 2010

Response by poster: Rhobmoid: Thanks for answering, I am referring to accruability of different bonunes. For instance, if Mr X took advatange of Bonus A, it could be legal/illegal for him to also take advantage of Bonus B. When legal, Mr X can take both Bonus A and B, therefore the bonues can be accrued. Its that correct?
posted by elpapacito at 12:06 PM on July 23, 2010

I think you might say that the two bonuses can be compounded, as in compound interest.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:55 PM on July 23, 2010

I think I would express it as simply "bonuses A and B may be combined". To me, accrue has the connotation of occurring over time or happening at regular intervals, which wouldn't necessarily be the right thing to use when talking about the compatibility of two things in one period (as opposed to one thing repeating over several periods.)
posted by Rhomboid at 2:15 PM on July 23, 2010

Response by poster: I think rhomboid's and la morte's suggestions are both valid , but as rhomboid points out both terms suggest that the accumulation is happening at regular intervals, as it indeed happens with compund interest. That is not my case, in which one sum from bonus A decrease regularly by a fixed percentage every year, while the other Bonus B remains the same over time. Combined appears to be a slightly better term at conveying the idea that the amounts can be added
posted by elpapacito at 3:16 PM on July 23, 2010

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