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    #1

    A number of vs The number of

    I stll have another question . It's in my first post of the thread.
    Are there any difference between "a number of" and "the number of"?
    As far as I remember, "the number of" goes with a singular noun, while "a number of" doesn't. Is it right?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Number and Amount

    Quote Originally Posted by ngoc_lan View Post
    I stll have another question . It's in my first post of the thread.
    Are there any difference between "a number of" and "the number of"?
    As far as I remember, "the number of" goes with a singular noun, while "a number of" doesn't. Is it right?
    No, you should be able to test such a silly rule simply by making a sentence.
    "The number of" needs a single noun? Fine - "The number of cat at my door is three"; "The number of tooth in the average mouth is 32."
    Does this sound right to you? Surely if you have a singular noun, the number is always going to be one, so "the number of" would never arise.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A number of vs The number of

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, you should be able to test such a silly rule simply by making a sentence.
    "The number of" needs a single noun? Fine - "The number of cat at my door is three"; "The number of tooth in the average mouth is 32."
    Does this sound right to you? Surely if you have a singular noun, the number is always going to be one, so "the number of" would never arise.

    Sorry - I moved the prior post to its own thread, but just as I was doing so, Raymott replied. Quoting his response was the easiest fix I knew.

    EDIT: Okay, I figured out how to get the response attached to the original question now.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. gulesin's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A number of vs The number of

    A number of:alot of,many
    A number of people are waiting at the bus-stop.

    ''The number of '' gives the number of something.

    The number of people in this village is 2500.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A number of vs The number of

    Quote Originally Posted by gulesin View Post
    A number of: a lot of, many. (Note the spaces I have put in.)
    A number of people are waiting at the bus-stop.

    ''The number of '' gives the number of something.

    The number of people in this village is 2500.
    You are on the right lines, though 'a number of' can mean just 'some'; it does not have to imply 'many'.

    'The number of' means that figures are involved, but they are not necessarily givem:

    The number of people unemployed has risen for the third month in a row.

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