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Thread: quantity/amount

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default quantity/amount

    Are the following all OK and do they mean the same thing?
    1-1. I want to know the quantity of the bicycle(s) you need.
    1-2. I want to know the amount of the bicycle(s) you need.
    1-3. I want to know the number of the bicycle(s) you need.
    2-1. I want to know the quantity of the sugar you need.
    2-2. I want to know the amount of the sugar you need.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: quantity/amount

    I want to know the quantity of the bicycle(s) you need.
    Yes.


    I want to know the amount of the bicycle(s) you need.
    No.

    I want to know the number of the bicycle(s) you need.
    Yes.

    2-1. I want to know the quantity of the sugar you need.
    2-2. I want to know the amount of the sugar you need.
    Yes.

    More natural would be:
    1) I want to know how many bicycles you need.
    2) I want to know how much sugar you need.

    Bicycles are countable, while sugar generally is not.

    8)

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    While I agree with Ron, you will hear this one in colloquial BE:
    1-2. I want to know the amount of the bicycle(s) you need.

    It's getting more common, but many would classify it as just plain wrong.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: quantity/amount

    You can have an amount of sugar, but you can't have an amount of bicycles.

    8)

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Technically, yes, and I agree with you, but I was merely stating that many BE speakers use amount + plural, even government ministers, so it's worth noticing that some do say it and it will be heard in BE. This raises an issue for teachers as to whether they should mark it right or wrong.

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