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A sentence from an article on Bitcoin in Asahi Shimbun:

それが世界{せかい}で1兆{ちょう}から7千億円{せんおくえん}相当{そうとう}も流通{りゅうつう}している。

I guess it can be translated into:

The value of those (bitcoins) circulating all over the world ranges between 0.7 and 1.0 trillion Japanese yen.

It appears very uncommon to me to put the bigger number before 「から」when setting a range. Is this case simply a minor exception? Or am I missing some important point?

Bonus question:

The corresponding item in スーパー大辞林 seems to be:

(3)範囲{はんい}を表{あらわ}す。「…から…まで」の形{かたち}をとることが多{おお}い。「小学校{しょうがっこう}―大学{だいがく}まで首席{しゅせき}で通{とお}した」「何{なに}―何{なに}までお世話{せわ}になりました」

It implies that, when manifesting a range, 「まで」can be, or even must be, omitted in some cases. But in what cases?

  • 1
    Hint: The nice and round number 「1兆」 and its eye-catching impact on the reader. Had it been 「9千億」 instead, the sentence would have read 「~~7千億から9千億円相当も~~」. In other words, it would have been in the more common "smaller number から larger number" format. – l'électeur May 19 '14 at 6:56
  • @非回答者 Many thanks for the hint. In the would-have-been case, can we add a 「まで」right after 「9千億円」? My personal observation is that when the whole construction is used as kind of an adverb as in 「小学校から大学まで首席で通した」, 「まで」 is not omissible, while in other cases it is optional. Is that a reliable thumb of rule? – null May 20 '14 at 5:18
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I don't think that is unusual at all. Which number you put first depends on the context. If you are talking about the value of a devaluating currency, you could well put the maximum first and then the minimum last.

That would be like saying that in English you'd never say something like "this variable can take any value from 2 to 1". If a higher value is more desirable, it is likely to be said this way around. I'd certainly not blink or think twice if I heard it said like this.

As for the lack of "まで", it is replaced "相当", so that's fine. In this case the bounds are not hard and fast values, so using "まで" would actually sound weird and something that indicates some uncertainty is more appropriate.

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