quantity <of> purchases

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Shandol

Senior Member
Persian
Ordering Information: Quantity sales. Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others.
Source: Deep Learning Made Easy with R: A Gentle Introduction for Data Science book written by Dr. N.D. Lewis

What do you think about the bold part? I am beginning to think that it would be better to say "... quantities of purchases ..."!
Any idea.
Thanks.
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The original wording is fine. It refers to people making purchases in bulk, so each purchase (transaction) consists of multiple copies of whatever it is that is being sold; they are purchasing in quantity.

    "Quantity of purchases" would refer to number of transaction.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Moreover, "quantity purchases" is a well-established term in merchandising. As with other such terms, "fixing" it would only make it unnatural, even if it were appropriate. ;)
     

    Shandol

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thanks for your contribution to the thread.
    "Quantity" is being used as an adjective
    According to online dictionaries, "Quantity" can only be used as a noun.
    It refers to people making purchases in bulk, so each purchase (transaction) consists of multiple copies of whatever it is that is being sold; they are purchasing in quantity.
    But I am of the opinion that it is referring to the things being purchased, not people!
    "Quantity of purchases" would refer to number of transaction.
    Precisely! :tick:
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    According to online dictionaries, "Quantity" can only be used as a noun.
    Wrong. Sorry
    Neither Lexico nor the WRD says 'only."
    Note that we have frequently pointed out to learners here that just about any noun can be used as a modifier, e.g.
    dog whistle​
    dinosaur bones​
    aircraft traffic​
    whale blubber​
    river mouth​
    etc​
    :)
     

    Shandol

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Note that we have frequently pointed out to learners here that just about any noun can be used as a modifier, e.g.
    Yeah, I have been fully apprised of that. ;)
    But that doesn't change anything. I stand by what I said in post #5. A noun being used as a modifier is not called an adjective. :)
     

    Shandol

    Senior Member
    Persian
    A noun being used as a modifier is not called an adjective. :)
    Well, there's this site, for starters: :) ;)
    By using a noun acting as an adjective before the noun ship, we get to know what ship it is – a battleship, cargo ship, container ship, cruise ship, merchant ship, sailing ship, spaceship, or supply ship, or even an enemy ship or a pirate ship.
    Sooner or later you are going to realize that there is a difference between "acting as an adjective" and "an adjective"! :)
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Sooner or later you are going to realize that there is a difference between "acting as an adjective" and "an adjective"! :)
    Please refer to your own post (#5) in which you deny The Newt's good advice that "quantity" is being used, i.e. acting, as an adjective. :rolleyes:
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    But I am of the opinion that it is referring to the things being purchased, not people!
    Yes, it is. However, it is important to realise that "purchases" in the original is plural because there are multiple purchasers, and that a single purchase can be for multiple items.

    "Quantity" refers to the number of items bought in a single purchase. Your changing it to "quantities of purchases" changes it to the number of purchases, not to the number of items bought.

    The original could be worded "A discount is available on each quantity purchase...", from which you can see that "quantity of purchases" cannot possibly fit.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There is no difference between the role of "quantity" in that sentence and the role of "bulk" in any number of similar sentences referring to "bulk purchases." "Bulk" is "a noun," but it is also a recognized adjective. The only reason you probably won't find "quantity" in dictionaries as an adjective is that dictionaries, however exhaustive, can't account for all possible uses of every word. And I'm baffled as to what the difference would be between an adjective and a word that is merely posing as one. Languages are about function, not about immutable sealed categories.
     

    Shandol

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Yes, it is. However, it is important to realise that "purchases" in the original is plural because there are multiple purchasers, and that a single purchase can be for multiple items.

    "Quantity" refers to the number of items bought in a single purchase. Your changing it to "quantities of purchases" changes it to the number of purchases, not to the number of items bought.

    The original could be worded "A discount is available on each quantity purchase...", from which you can see that "quantity of purchases" cannot possibly fit.
    Nicely put.
    Thank you Uncle Jack for the time you spent so as to illuminate the matter. :thumbsup:
     
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