# “in a 4:1:3 ratio” in German

I'd say:

Die drei Ingredienzien müssen im Verhältnis von 4:1:3 vermischt werden.

... to express the idea of:

Mix them in the ratio of 4:1:3. --- {numbers following the word "ratio"}

{or}: Mix them in a 4:1:3 ratio. --- {numbers preceding the word "ratio"}

Question: Is it possible in German to have numbers precede the word "Verhältnis" in a similar way to "in a 4:1:3 ratio"?

The equivalent expressions in French, Italian, Spanish, Russian etc all take the form of "a noun corresponding to ratio + numbers", just like "in the ratio of 4:1:3". Can it go either way in German?

• The word "Verhältnis" just expresses well what you want to say. The more natural expression is to use it before the numbers. – πάντα ῥεῖ May 12 '18 at 16:03
• @BjörnFriedrich Strictly speaking, yes. But don't we just use the noun "ratio" anyway, if nothing else, for lack of a better term for comparing three quantities? By the way, I'm afraid I don't quite follow what you mean by your 2nd sentence. The idea I want to convey here is: "A:B:C = 4:1:3", in other words, "A and C are four and three times as much as B respectively". – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens May 12 '18 at 17:58
• @BjörnFriedrich There is a difference in usage in a mathematical or chemical context. In chemistry it is valid to use 4/1/3 to express a mixture of three solvents. – Arsak May 13 '18 at 9:23
• @BjörnFriedrich 4:1:3 is not 4:3. You are confusing it with mathematical division. This is not the correct context. – Gerhardh May 13 '18 at 10:19
• @BjörnFriedrich: "because division is not an associative operation" - I don't think it is useful to interpret a ratio like "4:1:3" as an arithmetical expression made up of divisions. The common interpretation seems to be closer to a linear equation: "Mix a ratio of grapefruit to orange juice to lemon juice to lemonade (...) 2:4:1:3" to create Tangerine Dream. is equivalent to "2 units of grapefruit + 4 units of orange juice + 1 unit of lemon juice + 3 units of lemonade = 1 (something of) Tangerine Dream". – O. R. Mapper May 13 '18 at 18:04