What's the difference between words "number", "count", "amount" and "quantity"?



I just can't understand when i should use one of these words and when another. They are too similar, but looks like they are not absolutely the same. So what is the difference between them?


Posted 2013-03-06T00:59:36.790

Reputation: 417

Question was closed 2014-02-06T22:33:16.930

5Hi Hast, welcome to ELL! Can you please add more information to your question about research you've done, and how exactly you're confused? Perhaps an example sentence where you're not sure which words to use? These words are all related but quite different from one another, so if we know exactly when you're getting confused it will help us to better answer your question. – WendiKidd – 2013-03-06T02:14:42.843



Number(v) = Give something a number.

There are 4 apples, number them.

a large/small number of (n) = To measure ANYTHING when we don't know exactly how many

There are a large number of people at the beach today.

Count (v) = How many are there.

Count the apples.
There are 4 apples.

Count (n) = How many of something are there.

What is the apple count?
There are 4 apples.

Amount to (v) = To measure something, not alive, which CAN NOT be counted.

The meeting between China and the USA amounted to nothing.

Amount (n) = To measure something, not alive, which CAN NOT be counted.

There is no amount of money that will make me do that.

quantity (n) = To measure something, not alive, that CAN be counted.

There is a large quantity of stores in the shopping mall.

In common conversation you can always use "a lot of" to describe any large number, amount or quantity and "not many/much" to describe any small number, amount or quantity.

Ian Barnett

Posted 2013-03-06T00:59:36.790

Reputation: 156

2@user485 : I did read Number(v) = Give something a number."" as "you put a number on them". So you would end up with four numbered apples. The example is correct, if not entirely recognizable as a common real-life situation :) – oerkelens – 2014-02-05T18:59:25.327

4I have never heard "There are 4 apples, number them." in the US. We would say "count them". Unless you are putting numbers on the apples, that is. You could say "There are 4 apples, this one is number 3" referring to the third apple in the group. – None – 2013-03-06T19:22:53.440