How <much potato> <many potatoes>

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Samuel-22

Senior Member
Farsi
Hi everyone,
I want to ask the following question but I can't figure out the right choice, the answer of the question is in millions of tonnes

how much potato is harvested each year? 20 tonnes
or
how many potatoes are harvested each year? 20 tonnes

And which sentence would be correct suppose I wanted to talk about a line graph

The given line graph provides information about how much potato is harvested in millions of tonnes
or
The given line graph provides information about how many potatoes are harvested in millions of tonnes
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    This is rather a tricky one. While "potato" (uncountable) is fine to describe the food ("Would you like some potato"), as a commodity it always seems to be a countable noun. In a shop, I would ask for "five kilos of potatoes". Only "How many potatoes are harvested?" sounds natural to me, even though the expected answer is in tonnes. I would also use "how many potatoes" in the second sentence.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't think the question works with potatoes.

    You need something like "What amount of potatoes are harvested every year?"
     

    Samuel-22

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    I don't think the question works with potatoes.

    You need something like "What amount of potatoes are harvested every year?"
    But we employ "amount" for non-count nouns only, I don't think it can be used with potatoes..
     

    Samuel-22

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    This is rather a tricky one. While "potato" (uncountable) is fine to describe the food ("Would you like some potato"), as a commodity it always seems to be a countable noun. In a shop, I would ask for "five kilos of potatoes". Only "How many potatoes are harvested?" sounds natural to me, even though the expected answer is in tonnes. I would also use "how many potatoes" in the second sentence.
    It makes sense. I suppose there's not much we can do about it, so I think I will go with your recommendation. Thank you!
     

    Samuel-22

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    "How big is the potato harvest?"
    1 ton = 2,000 lb.
    1 tonne = 1,000 kg. (2,200 lb.).
    That just went over my head.
    So is it possible to ask, "How big is the potato harvest? "
    If the answer is yes, then I think we have a worthy candidate. It makes sense!
     
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