can be controlled in <a/the> number of ways

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
Is this sentence correct?
"Noise pollution in big cities can be controlled in the number of ways."
Thanks.
 
  • coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    "A number of" means "many."

    "The number of" is something more specific, i.e. "I know exactly the number of people who are living here." I know the number -- it is four (for example).

    "The" is precise and referential. "A number of" is not precise, it just means several or many.
     
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