-2

I have read in some webpage 23,49 € EUR per month ,is that what would be written in North America as 23.49 € EUR per month? Does it represent just over 23 € or over 2300?

5
  • 4
    Europe covers a lot of ground. Some countries do indeed use comma as the fractional delimiter and period as the thousands delimiter. Websearch will probably find a list of which do what. Note that if you start looking beyond Europe it can get even more complicated; as I understand it, India's native convention is to delimit numbers into groups of two digits, not three.
    – keshlam
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 12:52
  • 1
    @keshlam India is worse than that: they delimit by two or three.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 14:17
  • @keshlam and some countries delimit using the space character.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 14:18
  • 23,49 € represents 23€ and 49€-cents. Yes, the comma is separating decimal part. This is true for most of Europe, but as @keshlam says - some countries/languages have other rules.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 19:03
  • @RonJohn it seems that the last digit group before the decimal seperator in Indian numbers is a group of three. So the indian system doesn't seem to add any additional ambiguity over what we already have with the English and Continental systems. Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 23:34

1 Answer 1

4

Most English speaking countries use the full stop (.) as decimal separator. However most of mainland Europe uses the comma (,). They have a nasty habit of continuing to do so even when writing in English. Since in English the comma is frequently used as a thousands separator this can lead to ambiguity.

Fortunately when it comes to financial matters, it is rare for more than two digits are used after the decimal separator. Thus the comma in "23,49 €" cannot be a thousands separator and the number can be unambiguously interpreted as 23 Euros and 49 Cents.

3
  • 1
    Even when there are three digits after the comma,the three orders of magnitude of difference make it fairly obvious which meaning is more likely in most everyday contexts (perhaps except for corporate financial reports). Say,a monthly subscription to some random service is unlikely to cost half of the average yearly income.
    – TooTea
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 8:37
  • I knew a company losing big money because a spreadsheet displayed numbers as Euros when viewed in the EU and in dollars when viewed in the USA. Nobody spotted it.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 10:59
  • One trap: There are several countries using dollars. So if you read “dollar” it might be Canadian or other dollars.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 11:01

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .