multiply rapidly / increase rapidly

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s.gh

New Member
persian
Hello friends,
Would you please tell me what`s the difference between these two sentences.
The creatures are multiplying very rapidly.
The creatures are increasing rapidly.
Thank you
 
  • Ceremoniar

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    The first one emphasizes the reproductive aspects more, while the second presumably emphasizes the increasing number of creatures. In the second example, I would have written The number of creatures is increasing rapidly.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The creatures are increasing rapidly is ambiguous. Is each one increasing in size? Or maybe increasing in intelligence or understanding?
    SE 16 Teddy makes a good point here, S.GH. If you want to use "increasing", you would do better to say: The number of creatures is increasing rapidly.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Are they some kind of creature that can do mathematics? ;) If yes, then the first sentence is also ambiguous.
     

    s.gh

    New Member
    persian
    Hi ceremoniar
    I would like to know if _multiply_ emphasizes the reproductive aspect more, can we use it in the following phrase?
    The multiplication of universities.
    Thank you
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Are they some kind of creature that can do mathematics? ;) If yes, then the first sentence is also ambiguous.
    In the old biblical statement "Be fruitful and multiply", God isn't ordering people to do math.

    This use of multiply is still with us, according to MW: 1 a : to become greater in number : increase in extent :
     

    Ceremoniar

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi ceremoniar
    I would like to know if _multiply_ emphasizes the reproductive aspect more, can we use it in the following phrase?
    The multiplication of universities.
    Thank you
    The context clue creatures implies that multiplication would mean that they are reproducing.
     

    Ceremoniar

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    SE 16 Teddy makes a good point here, S.GH. If you want to use "increasing", you would do better to say: The number of creatures is increasing rapidly.
    Now why didn't I say that? Actually, I think that I did. :p
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In the old biblical statement "Be fruitful and multiply", God isn't ordering people to do math.

    This use of multiply is still with us, according to MW: 1 a : to become greater in number : increase in extent :
    I didn't say it wasn't. See the word "ambiguous" in my post? I am a creature that can reproduce AND use a calculator.
     
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