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"多数”有多少-majority vs plurality-LetPub英文科技论文写作杂谈之11

英文论文写作过程中,往往会遇到不同英文单词都可以表达同一个中文意思,但其实这些单词的内在含义是不同的,LetPub结合多年服务于英文科技论文的编辑经验,搜集了一些中国作者在英文写作中经常出现的错误,列出常见的“多数”一词来举例,希望对您有所帮助。


majority vs. plurality

These words have a distinction that is not always drawn.

When dealing with percentages, "most" and "majority" mean "significantly more than half." They do not mean "the biggest group there is." If the biggest group makes up 87% of the whole, that's the "majority." If the biggest group makes up less than half, like 42% of the whole (and the other groups are, say, 18%, 23% and 17%), then that is the "plurality" -- the biggest group but not more than half. These distinctions are usually limited to discussions of relative values, especially votes in an election.

"There was no majority winner, but a plurality of votes were cast for the incumbent."

In other contexts, "plurality" can mean just "a large number of things," and "most" can mean "the biggest or most pronounced out of the group." (But "majority" retains its more-than-half/almost-all meaning at all times.)

"Gina showed the most improvement of any student in the class," does not have to mean that Gina showed more than half of all the class' collective improvement.

(转载请注明本文来自LetPub中文官网:www.letpub.com.cn/index.php?page=sci_talk_11


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