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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    count (up) to somethinh

    Hi,

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/count+up+to

    count up to something: to say or list the numbers from zero on up to a certain number.

    ''Can you count up to a million?''

    What's the difference between 'count to' and 'count up to'? I've seen people saying, for example, 'I will count to ten now!' but I've also seen the usage of 'count up to' in the dictionary above. Still I cannot get it.

    Thanks.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu View Post
    Hi,

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/count+up+to

    Count up to something: To say or list the numbers from zero on up to a certain number.

    ''Can you count up to a million?''

    What's the difference between 'count to' and 'count up to'? I've seen people saying, for example, 'I will count to ten now!' but I've also seen the usage of 'count up to' in the dictionary above. Still I cannot get it.

    Thanks.
    They mean the same thing. Their usages might be slightly different. When we include the "up," it suggests that the counting will take a lot of effort.

    "Count to" is always correct. Use "count up to" only when you're talking about a big number.

    "Up to" is also used in other different ways. For one thing, it's an idiom used to express maximum amounts:

    - Up to twenty people can fit in the van.
    - We've counted up to 43 crows in that tree.

    It's also an informal idiom for "doing":

    - I wonder what the kids are up to. (This implies that the kids are "up to no good.")
    - Was the cat up to his usual tricks? (This implies that the cat misbehaves often.)
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    I suggest that upto is better written as one word, as it's a single preposition.

    (When it means 'doing', keep it separate.)

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    #4

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    'Upto' is not generally accepted as a valid preposition.

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    'Upto' is not generally accepted as a valid preposition.
    Why not? In this sentence or ever? What is it, then?

    count = verb phrase
    upto a million = preposition phrase

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    I have never seen "upto" written as one word.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I have never seen "upto" written as one word.
    It's not very common, I'll admit, but you do see it. Increasingly, it seems to me.

  8. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    It's not very common, I'll admit, but you do see it. Increasingly, it seems to me.
    Yikes! Never have I seen upto! Into, unto, and onto, sure, but not upto. Where have you seen it? It certainly hasn't swum to the US.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  9. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yikes! Never have I seen upto! Into, unto, and onto, sure, but not upto. Where have you seen it? It certainly hasn't swum to the US.
    The most salient instances are in advertisements. If you google image search, for example: https://www.google.de/search?q=upto+...q=upto+50%25&*

    and count the instances of upto versus up to, you'll get a very rough idea of the frequency. (I'm not sure how many of these ads are from the U.S. but I assume some are?)

    Outside of ads, I've seen it in some technical texts. Otherwise, Google Books Ngram viewer (where I'd expect it to have a very low count), showing a nice increasing trend in the post-war period, puts it at:

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=upto&year_start=1900&year_end=2008&c orpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cupt o%3B%2Cc0

    , which is approximately 10 times less frequent than up to: (Note the expected lack of change in this curve.)

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/grap...p%20to%3B%2Cc0

    (With this latter curve, you should take into consideration that the to will often be a part of a to-infinitive verb form, and not a preposition, therefore skewing the data somewhat.)
    Last edited by jutfrank; 10-Mar-2017 at 20:48.

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    #10

    Re: count (up) to somethinh

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    'Upto' is not generally accepted as a valid preposition.
    I wouldn't write it. I don't think I've ever seen it until today.
    I am not a teacher.

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