In a certain number

Esad Nr

Senior Member
Turkish
There is a certain number of umbrellas in the world.

There are umbrellas in a certain number in the world.

Is there any difference between two sentences in meaning. Changing place of ''certain number'' make a difference.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There is a certain number of umbrellas in the world. :tick:

    There are umbrellas in a certain number in the world. :cross:

    In order to see if the phrase "a certain number" works, you should substitute "hundred" for "certain number of".

    There are a hundred umbrellas in the world. :tick:

    There are umbrellas in a hundred in the world. :cross:
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The first sentence is fine. The second sentence is not.

    Although it might be possible to come up with a correct sentence using "certain number" in a different place, I cannot readily think of one, and if I did I doubt that it would be something that anyone would say.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    No, although it is not a natural word order, which would put "large quantities" at the beginning and change some of the other wording to suit. I don't see what this has to do with your original question, though.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Rotting solid waste in large quantities is a significant source of methane gas.

    This is the another example. Is this example is wrong too?
    It’s not another example of the same thing, as Jack says. It’s fine – although I’d be tempted to add “emissions” at the end, and change source to cause. The adverbial phrase in bold modifies the singular subject ([the action of] Rotting solid waste) of the singular verb “is”.

    Rotting solid waste in large quantities is a significant source of methane gas. :tick::thumbsup:
     

    Esad Nr

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    It’s not another example of the same thing, as Jack says. It’s fine – although I’d be tempted to add “emissions” at the end, and change source to cause. The adverbial phrase in bold modifies the singular subject ([the action of] Rotting solid waste) of the singular verb “is”.

    Rotting solid waste in large quantities is a significant source of methane gas. :tick::thumbsup:
    Even small changes in certain numbers can mean big changes in the predictions.

    I saw this example in an article. I wrote my example “There are umbrellas in a certain number in the world.” based on this example. What is the diffetence betwen my example and this sentence below?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The main difference is that 'quantities' is plural. "In a certain number" just doesn't work.
    You could in principle say "There are umbrellas in large quantities in the world."
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Even small changes in certain numbers can mean big changes in the predictions.

    I saw this example in an article. I wrote my example “There are umbrellas in a certain number in the world.” based on this example. What is the diffetence betwen my example and this sentence below?
    You’re trying to use the plural phrase “certain numbers” in the singular and, presumably, to mean something entirely different.

    small changes in certain numbers
    = minor changes made to some numbers/figures/amounts

    umbrellas in a certain number :thumbsdown: :confused:
    (implies: a certain/particular number/quantity of umbrellas)
     
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