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What does twice/thrice as much mean? Is it the same as two/three times as much?

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closed as off-topic by Rahul, Dominic Michaelis, TZakrevskiy, Matthew Pressland, azimut Sep 12 '13 at 14:23

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question is not about mathematics, within the scope defined in the help center." – Rahul, Dominic Michaelis, TZakrevskiy, Matthew Pressland, azimut
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

tangentially related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/6798/… –  Isaac Feb 13 '11 at 4:08

2 Answers 2

This question is probably more a question about the English language than mathematics, but the answer is nonetheless yes. (possibly depending on the context)

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FWIW, I am a native English speaker and I can't think of any context where twice (respectively thrice) does not mean two times (respectively three times). –  Pete L. Clark Feb 13 '11 at 3:43

Yes, twice means two times. But be very careful about what follows--"more" means something different from "as much" or "as many". Most people get this wrong:

"Two times as many" means twice as many. But people often say "two times more", which really means three times as many. This is for the same reason that "one-half more" is different from "one-half as many".

To make it more clear:

Suppose I have 2 oranges.
50% as many (half as many) is 1.
100% as many is 2.
200% as many (twice as many) is 4.
300% as many (three times as many) is 6.
50% less is 1.
0% more is 2.
50% more (one-half more) is 3.
100% more is 4.
200% more (two times more) is 6, which is three times as many.

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How about this (which I have seen, but don't like): "ten times less" –  GEdgar Aug 7 '11 at 12:46