Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you hear people talking about the value of things in conversation?

Would you like to be able to talk about percentages and other numbers when you connect with native speakers?

It can be confusing to know how to talk about percentages and value in conversation.

We’re going to show you some terms you can use and how to make these conversations easier.

Here’s a great example that asks about percentages.


Dear Lindsay,

How are you doing? It was really great meeting you,Michelle, and Daniel in the NYC Urban Adventure. The students and  the native speakers were so nice too. Miss you all!

I have a question about  percentage. It comes from a discussion between me and my friends.

If the price of A is 10, and the price of B is 20. How would you describe  that the price of B is double that of A, using a percentage number? For example, “The price of B is 100% higher than A.”(Sounds correct but weird) Or “The price of B is 200% higher.”

Thanks and best wishes.



A Common Situation That Can Be Quite Confusing

So let’s start by breaking this down for clarification.

In this example–20 is 100 percent higher than 10, but 20 is 200 percent of 10, so it’s double.

To clarify it really depends on if are you using the word “higher than” or not?

If you are just saying X is ___ percent of Y,  then it’s different.

You want to be clear on what you are exactly talking about in these examples.


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Talking About Values Can Be Tricky

It doesn’t have to be as hard as you think, but you do want to be certain that you are focused on using the right words.

There are some other ways to talk about values, and you want to be focused on those as well.

Here are some examples of how to talk about values, some of which may be used in your everyday life.

  • 20 is double 10 (double, triple)
  • 20 is twice as much as 10 (3 times as much, 4 times as much)
  • 10 is half as much as 20 (a quarter as much)
  • 10 is 50 percent of 20 (20 percent of , 30 percent of)

These are all real life examples of how you might talk about values of something or make comparisons.


Real Life Conversations About Value

There are many times when you may talk about values in your everyday life.

You want to understand how these conversations can happen so that you can make them work in your life.

There are plenty of times when you might discuss value, and so these can help you to be prepared.

  • Looking at something on sale in a store or an item being offered at a discount
    • “This shirt is 20 percent off.” So if the shirt is 10 dollars, it’s 2 dollars (20 percent) off–so the shirt is 8 dollars in cost.
  • Comparing the costs or values of two similar items
    • “I like the blue pants but they cost twice as much as the red pants.”  So if the blue pants cost 100 dollars, the red pants cost 50 dollars.
  • Tipping in a restaurant or for a service of some kind
    • “I gave her a 20 percent tip” So if the bill was $15, the tip was $3 and the total was $18.

These are all great examples of how you might talk about values in situations that come up in your life frequently.



People may not use all these phrases in this way, but it’s good to have a grasp of how to use percentages.

You want to know how to talk about values in English, especially for things like purchasing items.

This can avoid confusion, and it can help you to know how to talk through these common situations in public.

These are the things that can help you to really master English in everyday interactions, and this all helps with making great connections.


If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 

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