number / amount

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epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
I've met some Russian speakers who use amount when they are supposed to use number for countable nouns. For example, they would use amount in the following examples:

We've read the same amount number of books.
The amount number of English speakers in that area range from 10,000 to 20,000.

amount/number of people

Maybe the same word is used in Russian language. Can you confirm that?
 
  • Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Russian "количество" would mean both "amount" and "number" in the given sense, while "число" may be applicable to countable nouns only.
     

    CrownDweller

    Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    I've met some Russian speakers who use amount when they are supposed to use number for countable nouns. For example, they would use amount in the following examples:

    We've read the same amount number of books.
    The amount number of English speakers in that area range from 10,000 to 20,000.

    amount/number of people

    Maybe the same word is used in Russian language. Can you confirm that?
    Native English speakers make that same mistake all the time themselves, in fact so often that it would probably be better to rewrite the textbooks in order to make them reflect an established reality:)

    GGL "amount of books": About 13,900,000 results
     
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    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    Native English speakers make that same mistake all the time themselves, in fact so often that it would probably be better to rewrite the textbooks in order to make them reflect an established reality:)

    GGL "amount of books": About 13,900,000 results
    I think many of these results represent correct usage of the word.
    For example:
    “Amazing amount of books” (uncountable)
    Reviewed October 12, 2016
    All sections well stocked. Not as browser friendly as most bookshops its size though.
    Probably largest selection of books in BC
    "Any Amount of Books" - a delightful second-hand bookshop.... etc.
     

    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Here's a good idea about when we could use "amount" with countable nouns:
    Although objected to, the use of amount instead of number with countable nouns occurs in both speech and writing, especially when the noun can be considered as a unit or group (the amount of people present; the amount of weapons) or when it refers to money (the amount of dollars paid; the amount of pennies in the till).

    the definition of amount
     

    CrownDweller

    Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    I think many of these results represent correct usage of the word.
    For example:

    "Any Amount of Books" - a delightful second-hand bookshop.... etc.
    It depends on the context indeed:

    Scenario 1: a warehouse full of crates:

    - "What's in those crates?"
    - "Books"
    - "That's a huge amount of books!"

    Scenario 2: a crate is unpacked and examined in a shop:

    - "They sent us the wrong number of books again!"

    The point here is that in the first example the issue isn't whether the books are countable, but whether they are expected to be counted in this particular setting. While someone is probably going to keep track of the number of crates in a warehouse, most likely nobody is going to count the books inside them. Here the usage of the word "books" leans towards that of a "collective noun, plural". I still think that "amount" here is considered acceptable rather than correct.
     

    CrownDweller

    Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Here's a good idea about when we could use "amount" with countable nouns:
    It's the term "countable" that is deceptive here. It should be something like "countable and being counted, having been counted or to be counted in the given context". Hard to catch in a single English word though. And then there's the option of "potentially being counted" of course. Maybe a plain "count noun" does sum it up best after all. I just see that the Russian исчисляемое существительное doesn't cover the entire spectrum of possibilities either and that, moreover, "количество книг" and "число книг" both yield roughly the same number of results.
     
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