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  1. outofdejavu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Aug 2008
    • Posts: 107
    #1

    The meaning of this "quarter"

    I saw in this piece of Taiwan local news:
     Convicted of masterminding a murder, Yen was sentenced to three years and as many quarters in prison last year.


    What does this "quarter" possibily mean? Is it related to the length of sentence in prison?


    I have searched Taiwan news per se in Chinese for clues. What I found is that he was paroled after a third of his prison term.


    One meaning of "quarter" in Chinese and the meaning of "a third" are of one-character difference. That newspaper is a Taiwan local English newspaper, and the reporter seems to be a Taiwanese. I assume that perhaps the reporter misused "quarter"...but I am unsure.



    Please shed some light.

    I'd like to have native English speakers' comments.




    Best Wishes,

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 5,158
    #2

    Re: The meaning of this "quarter"

    Quarter usually means 25%, either of a dollar or a year. Here it means a quarter-year, though the writer is using a precious style that I frown upon. He seems to mean 3.75 years.


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 394
    #3

    Re: The meaning of this "quarter"

    Convicted of masterminding a murder, Yen was sentenced to three years and as many quarters in prison last year.
    My first assumption was that he was sentenced to "three years and as many (three) quarters (three-month periods)," or three years and nine months.

    I was right. I did some double checking in some other news stories, and finally found out that he was indeed sentenced to three years and nine months (although a couple of stories rounded it off to three-and-a-half years).

    Admittedly, it's a very weird way to say it. The only thing weirder is that the China Post actually got it right.

    Greg

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