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This section gets into even more tricky logical stuff. Skip it if you're not interested.
If le ci prenu means "the three people," and re le prenu means "two of the people," how do you say "two of the three people"?
You probably got this one pretty easily: re le ci prenu. If, however, we use lo, the meaning changes. We can't say re lo ci prenu to mean two out of any three people (i.e. two thirds of the population). This is because while le ci prenu means the three people that I have in mind, lo ci prenu, by the same logic, means the three people that actually exist — i.e. that there are only three people in the universe. (That's also why, as the astute reader may have noted, you can't say loi ci nanmu cu bevri le pipno.) You would therefore only use the number+lo+number formula if you knew the actual numbers rather than just the proportions, e.g.
re lo ci mensi pe mi cu nelci la rikis.martin.
Two of my three sisters like Ricky Martin.
This states two facts. First, that I have three sisters (though it is not actually true in my case!) Second, that two of them like Ricky Martin (it doesn't actually state that my third sister hates him — she may be indifferent to him, or never have heard of him). If I use le in the same sentence, it isn't actually wrong, but it allows the possibility that I have, say, five sisters, but I'm only talking about three of them! This is one of the few areas where le and lo are not like the and a/some.
But with people in general, rather than a specific group of people I know, I would have to say something in the order of
meaning, I would have to give the real counts for all humans, and for all humans who suffer from that particular affliction. Which obviously is not terribly practical. (The real counts, I mean, not the affliction. Though on second thought...)
vo ki'o nocize ki'o pasovo ki'o rexare lo xa ki'o cipare ki'o pamubi ki'o nosoci remna cu nelci la rikis.martin.
4,037,194,262 out of the 6,312,158,093 (existing) humans like Ricky Martin
One way out of this problem is to use fi'u, which is like the Lojban slash sign. So "two out of every three people" is really "2/3 of people", or refi'uci loi prenu. Of course, this is actually a fraction, and fractions have decimal equivalents; you could also say pixaxaxa loi prenu, and not be that far off — even if your use of decimals might have some people laughing in the aisles...
Yes, that's our new friend loi in that sentence. If I had said refi'uci lo prenu, that would have to be understood in the same way as re lo prenu or ci lo prenu (i.e. as a count of individuals), and I would have ended up talking about two thirds of a person. In most cultures, chopping up persons into thirds is not considered acceptable behaviour even for pollsters or advertisers. On the other hand, chopping up populations into thirds is perfectly acceptable; and that's what loi prenu is. (A population, I mean, not an acceptable. Though on second thought...)
Here are some more proportions:
mi tcica pimu lei prenu
I fooled half of the people (treating the people as a mass, or population)
mi tcica pafi'ure lei prenu
I fooled one out of two people (which means exactly the same thing)
mi tcica pa le re mlatu
I fooled one out of the two cats (treating the cats as individuals)
mi se slabu vopano lo pacivore gismu
I am familiar with 410 out of the 1342 (existing) gismu