Which way [is the phrase "You don't have 10$, yet alone 5" or "You don't have 5$, yet alone 10?"]

Is the phrase “You don’t have 10$, yet alone 5” or “You don’t have 5$, yet alone 10?”

The second. “You don’t have even half what you need, much less the whole thing” is a pretty good translation of the idiom.

I agree. Although I always thought it was “x let alone y.”

But I do seem to be hearing more and more people saying it the OP’s first way lately.

Never heard “yet,” always “let.” Never heard it the first way around, either.

It’s an emphatic expression. “You haven’t succeeded. You haven’t even halfway succeeded.”

(From Gilgamesh: Who is this who would conquer death, who cannot even conquer sleep?)

So is it Half/Full or Full/Half?

Agree that it’s the second. If I first ask “Do you have $10?”, and you say no, then I can follow up by asking “OK, then, do you have $5?”. But suppose I ask the questions in the other order: I ask “Do you have $5?”, and you say no. I can let the second question, about $10, alone (i.e., not ask it), because I already know the answer.

Wow. I didn’t even notice the OP typed “yet alone”. Good catch there Bayard.

It’s *always * 100% without fail been “let alone” in my experience. In 50 plus years I’ve never read or heard “yet alone.” Until the OP.

I sure hope this isn’t another idiom about to be given the “could / couldn’t care less” treatment where any combination of almost-right words, no matter how nonsensical, becomes an accepted or at least heavily used, form of the expression.

Thread title edited to indicate subject.

Please don’t post meaningless thread titles. Especially don’t post fragments of the question when you can easily post the whole thing.

General Questions Moderator

This honestly isn’t meant as snark and is perhaps (though I think not entirely) beside the point, but how can one go through life seeing prices marked with the dollar sign to the left of the number, yet when one goes to type or write it one’s self, one puts it to the right of the number?

I have noticed as often as not that in movies, TV and sometimes TV news, the order is stated backwards from correct. Maybe it sounds better. But they do it. I can’t think of a cite for it.

Perhaps he lives in Quebec.

I still haven’t figured out why the dollar sign goes to the left, anyway. You don’t read it as “Dollars ten”.

Because it establishes the unit of currency, then fills in the amount. In a way, you DO read it as “dollars ten”.

Don’t a lot of countries place the symbol after the numbers? I was under the impression that the Euro symbol goes after the number most places. I’m not sure where bomberswarm2 is, but I presume he’s from a country that observes that convention.

Indeed they do.

I know that I come across it the wrong way round once in a while. I had thought I was reading it but maybe it was movies or TV. It always annoys me when I hear or see it.

And yet, in the rare occasion you see a cent mark, it’s after the quantity, completely unlike the dollar mark.

So we’re not even internally consistent. :mad:

correct usage: “You don’t have $5, let alone 10”

The order is half-“let alone”-full.

But every other unit, we give the number first, and then the unit. We don’t say that a person is cm 180 tall, for instance (specifying the unit, and then the quantity).

Funny, but when I see something like “$10” I read it as “ten dollars”. Likewise “£10” is “ten pounds” and “€10” is “ten euros.”

But when I read “USD10” I mentally pronounce that as “you-ess-dee ten” or “you-ess dollars ten”. Likewise “SFR10” is “ess-eff-arr 10” or occasionally “swiss francs 10” and “EUR10” is “your ten”.

Why? No clue. It’s just how my habit developed. Anybody else read currency symbols & labels inconsistently or am I all alone in this nutty behavior?