# What is the meaning of "the amount of"

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#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
Dear teachers,

I want to know the amount of food. (It means you want to count, not food right?）

I need to digest the amount of food. (This one means I need to digest food, right?)

But can I say: " I want to know a bottle of wine " (which means I want to measure in another way?)

Thanks a lot!

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
The first is a little unnatural but could refer to an actual number or the weight.

- I'm bringing food to the party. Is there anything else you need to know?
- I want to know the amount of food.
- OK. I'm bringing twelve apples and a kilo of blackcurrants.

The second is unnatural. I can't imagine a situation in which it would be used. The closest I can get is:

- I've finished eating but I'm just going to stay at the table for ten minutes.
- Why?
- I need to digest the food.

"I want to know a bottle of wine" doesn't make sense at all. Perhaps you mean something like "I want to know how much wine is in that bottle".

#### Matthew Wai

##### VIP Member
I think he means 'I want to know the size of that wine bottle'.

#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
"I want to know a bottle of wine" doesn't make sense at all. Perhaps you mean something like "I want to know how much wine is in that bottle".

Thanks so much for your kind help!!!

But that is the thing that confuses me a lot!

If I want to ask how much wine is in that bottle, why can't we use "bottle" ?

Because "bottle" is defines as "the amount contained in a bottle"

And we can use "amount" to ask how much.

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#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Why do you think "bottle" means "the amount contained in a bottle"?

#### Raymott

##### VIP Member
Why do you think "bottle" means "the amount contained in a bottle"?
It can do. "How many bottles of beer are there in a keg?" This means "How many times would you have to multiply the amount of beer in a bottle to get the amount of beer in a keg." Strictly speaking, of course, there are no bottles of beer in a keg.
The context matters. But there is no context for "I want to know a keg."

#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
It can do. "How many bottles of beer are there in a keg?" This means "How many times would you have to multiply the amount of beer in a bottle to get the amount of beer in a keg." Strictly speaking, of course, there are no bottles of beer in a keg.
The context matters. But there is no context for "I want to know a keg."
But is it possible to say:" I want to know the bottle of beer" when you want to know the volume?

"amount" can refer to something abstract, but can "bottle" just mean something in reality which was contained in some containers?

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
But is it possible to say:" I want to know the bottle of beer" when you want to know the volume?

No. I think you're having a problem with the definition of the verb "know". You can know a person or you can know a fact. You can't know an inanimate object.

#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
No. I think you're having a problem with the definition of the verb "know". You can know a person or you can know a fact. You can't know an inanimate object.
Thanks so much!

You can know the amount of something, but you can't know the glass of something.

Am I right, sir?

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Thanks so much!

You can know the amount of something, but you can't know the glass of something.

Am I right? [strike]sir?[/strike]

Please don't refer to users here as "sir". It's overly formal but, more importantly, it excludes all our female members.

You can know the amount of something inasmuch as I know that a 750ml bottle of wine contains 750ml of wine, and I know that an average tumbler (a type of glass) holds 500ml of liquid. You certainly can't "know the glass".

#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
Please don't refer to users here as "sir". It's overly formal but, more importantly, it excludes all our female members.

You can know the amount of something inasmuch as I know that a 750ml bottle of wine contains 750ml of wine, and I know that an average tumbler (a type of glass) holds 500ml of liquid. You certainly can't "know the glass".

Because here "amount" means something abstract, but "glass" means something(like some wine) in the container, right?

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
No! "Glass" does not mean "something like wine in a container". I'm having trouble understanding how you're coming to these conclusions.

A "glass" is the name of a vessel made of glass into which you can put liquids (or anything else you want).
"A glass of wine" is a vessel made of glass into which someone has already poured wine.

In something like a recipe, you could be told to add "a glass of wine" but without the recipe saying exactly what size of glass you need, it's a pointless instruction.

#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
No! "Glass" does not mean "something like wine in a container". I'm having trouble understanding how you're coming to these conclusions.

A "glass" is the name of a vessel made of glass into which you can put liquids (or anything else you want).
"A glass of wine" is a vessel made of glass into which someone has already poured wine.

In something like a recipe, you could be told to add "a glass of wine" but without the recipe saying exactly what size of glass you need, it's a pointless instruction.

Thanks so much!

And it is the same with "a group of people" "a collection of people" right?

You can't say:" I want to know the group of people" to mean "I want to know the number" right?

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us (RIP)
You can't say: "I want to know the group of people" to mean "I want to know the number", right?

That's right. You could say I want to know how many people are in that group or possibly I'd like to know the size of that group of people.

I corrected the placement of the opening quotation mark and added a comma above.

#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
That's right. You could say I want to know how many people are in that group or possibly I'd like to know the size of that group of people.

I corrected the placement of the opening quotation mark and added a comma above.

Thanks a lot!

And we can say:" I want to make friends with that number of friends "

Is it possible to change "that" to "the"?

I want to make friends with the number of friends.(Like how many people was mentioned before)

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us (RIP)
Thanks a lot!

And we can say: "I want to make friends with that number of friends."

Put a space after every colon. Never put a space after an opening quotation mark or before a closing quotation mark.

#### MOYEEA LEE

##### Member
I mean making friends with people.

We can say: "I want to make friends with this/that number of people".
"I want to drink this/that glass of wine".

In this context, is it possible to change "this/that" to "the"?

#### GoesStation

##### No Longer With Us (RIP)
I mean making friends with people.

We can say: "I want to make friends with this/that number of people".
"I want to drink this/that glass of wine".

In this context, is it possible to change "this/that" to "the"?

You can say I want to drink the glass of wine, but you can't say I want to make friends with the number of people.

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Why would you ever want to decide in advance how many people you want to make friends with?

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