gross OR net?
We often use these adjectives when talking about money or weight. Basically, gross is bigger than net.
The gross amount can be the total after something (for example tax) has been added to the net amount. Look at this restaurant bill:
The gross amount can also be the amount before something is deducted from it. This is typical if you earn a salary or wage. For example, you may earn a gross salary of $1000, but after the government has taken $300 in taxes you receive a net salary of just $700:
We often use the words gross and net when talking about weights of products and packaging. If you buy a jar of coffee in a supermarket, the weight of the coffee is shown on the label as something like "50 grams net". That is the weight of the coffee without the jar. The gross weight (coffee + jar) might be something like 200 grams. Food products do not normally show the gross weight because it's not important to you:
|coffee||50 grams||net weight|
|total||200 grams||gross weight|
If you decide to post your new jar of coffee to a friend, the post office will charge you by gross weight, in this case the coffee + the jar + the packaging. To the post office the net weight is not important:
|jar of coffee||200 grams||net weight|
|total||300 grams||gross weight|
Look at these examples:
- They advertised the net price but after adding on all the service charges and taxes etc the gross price was nearly double that.
- My net pay after our greedy government takes its cut is only $1000.
- The prime minister's net pay is ten times my gross pay!
- You'd better use a lighter envelope to keep the gross weight under 100 grams.
- They're cheating! The label on this packet said a net weight of 200 grams but when I took the nuts out and weighed them, they only weighed 150 grams.
gross and net as verbs
Note that when talking about money, both gross and net can also be verbs. The verb to gross means "to earn a certain amount of money before tax and other costs are subtracted". The verb to net means "to earn a certain amount of money as clear profit (after taxes and other costs are subtracted)". Here are some examples of gross and net as verbs:
- The film grossed $500 million in its first year.
- After all the taxes and expenses, they were left with less than half of what they grossed.
- They netted $1.5 million on the deal.
- People who bought and sold the shares early netted a huge profit.