Rate or average

Help me choose the right answer. I saw this question in an ESL book.

 

* oil prices have already increased by .................... of 15%.

 

1- a proportion    2- an average    3- a ratio    4- a rate

 

 

Original Post
Yama posted:
* oil prices have already increased by .................... of 15%.

 

1- a proportion    2- an average    3- a ratio    4- a rate

Hello, Yama,

The answer is "an average":

  • Oil prices have already increased by an average of 15%.

Please notice that I have capitalized the first letter of the sentence. Here is another way the same idea could be stated:

  • On average, oil prices are already 15% higher than they were.

I agree with David.  In addition to the fact that answers (1), (3), and (4) just don't work, oil is not a strictly controlled commodity in our capitalist market.  So, during a given time period (an important piece of information missing from the example sentence), one seller might have raised his price 18%, but for every one like him, another has only raised his 12%, so that, in general, prices have increased by an average of 15% during that time.

In addition (and again, in complete agreement with David), if your ESL book is representing your example as a complete sentence but does not begin it with a capital letter, you need to burn the stupid thing and get a different one.  I do hope, however, that you are representing the contents of your book accurately.

DocV

Yama, I suppose that it's only possible to do so when referring to your own utility bill.  If, for example, you were historically billed $1.00 per cubic meter of gas, and now suddenly you find yourself being billed $1.15 per cubic meter, you would be correct in saying that, from your perspective, at least, the rate seems to have gone up by 15%.

DocV

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