The Distinction Between Per cent and Percent

March 13, 2024

The Difference Between Per cent and Percent

History of the Words

The words “per cent” and “percent” both originated from the Latin phrase “per centum,” which means “by the hundred.” Over time, the two-word form “per cent” and the one-word form “percent” have emerged and are commonly used in English speaking countries.

How to Use

The terms “per cent” and “percent” are used interchangeably to represent a proportion out of 100. They are typically used when expressing percentages in various contexts such as mathematics, finance, science, and everyday conversations.

Trick to Remember the Difference

To remember the difference between “per cent” and “percent,” think of “percent” as a single word used more frequently in American English, while “per cent” is commonly seen in British English and some formal writing styles.

Examples of Per cent

  • The value has increased by 20 per cent over the last year.
  • She scored 95 per cent on the math test.
  • Only twenty per cent of the population voted in the election.
  • The chart shows a rise of 10 per cent in sales this quarter.
  • The risk of infection is reduced by 50 per cent with proper hygiene.

Examples of Percent

  • The bank offers an interest rate of 3.5 percent on savings accounts.
  • Twenty-five percent of the project is already completed.
  • She was in the top ten percent of her graduating class.
  • His salary will increase by 15 percent next year.
  • The company aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent by 2030.


In summary, both “per cent” and “percent” are correct spellings when referring to a proportion out of 100. While “per cent” is used more in British English and formal writing, “percent” is commonly used in American English and everyday contexts. Remember to use them interchangeably based on your audience or writing style.