How should I understand EUR/USD stock or BTC/EUR market, what's buy? what's sell?

I am having problems to understand what `buy` and `sell` offer means, given the random pair `EURUSD` for instance, in context of exchange market.

Does it mean I am buying `EUR` for `USD` or buying `USD` for `EUR`?

or

Does it mean I am selling `EUR` for `USD` or selling `USD` for `EUR`?

Does the above interpretation is always the same (given same pair) or it may vary between the exchange markets?

In theory there shouldn't be difference between "Buying `USD` for `EUR`" or Selling `EUR` for `USD`", but in practice I find it confusing, when I need to place a bid / ask offer.

Is there are rule which would help me to quickly visualize what is what?

I've dealt with stock market and when I've seen the value of the given stock I knew it means price to pay when buying / selling it. It's easier for me to understand / visualize the "operation" if I have the rough price ratio in my head.

Given 2 unknown instruments, let's say `JPY` to `TRY` currencies and seeing that the best `ask` for `JPYTRY` is e.g. 1.5. I would't know immediately if it means that I am buying `JPY` for `TRY` or vice versa.

I am sure that it's simple, it's just me having problem to understand it.

• Could you give an example of the specific sentence used in a quote you find confusing? ie: the actual line/image in the chart you are looking at. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 19:42
• E.g. this: snag.gy/E36K2Z.jpg Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:21

Let's look at the pair `EUR/USD`. This is the abbreviation for the euro US dollar pair, where the value is equal to how many dollars it takes to buy one euro. The first currency listed is the base currency and the second is the quote currency (`base/quote`). The given rate is always in terms of the base currency. If you're a visual person like me, take a look at this helpful graphic!
• Thanks Daniel for the explanation and thanks for the link, yes the `base/quote` was the thing I was looking for. Now I get ! It wasn't straightforward to how to Google it properly. I couldn't find anything useful, until now. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:08