Set expression

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

User avatar
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:39 am
Status: English Learner

Set expression

Post by Maxfirat » Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:56 am


Which fixed expression below is standard in modern British English (mostly often used)?

(a) on an average
(b) on the average
(c) on average

Looking through some old English Grammar books, including "A concise English Grammar for Foreign Students" by C.E.Eckersley I encountered the expression on an average. (2-edition, 1958, p.14)
In both Longman Dictionary of Contemprorary English and Cambridge Dictionaries Online only on average is given.
So, is (a) incorrect or archaic?
What about (b)?

Many thanks..

User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12886
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Re: Set expression

Post by Alan » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:12 am

C is normal; B is rare nowadays.