# the yearly sales of a number of existing albums

#### The Lord of Gluttony

##### Senior Member
Greetings,

"A company wants to predict sales of a new album by a pop group. They know the yearly sales of a number of existing albums by the same group and the number of stores that stock the album."
Source: Source: Edexcel AS and A Level Modular Mathematics S1, page 136

In the second sentence above, the word "sales" means "the amount sold" according to WR Dictionary (or "the number of products sold" according to Cambridge Dictionary). Therefore I think that there is no need to put "of a number" in the second sentence above. Am I wrong? What do you think?

I believe that the sentence below would be correct and give the same meaning:
"They know the yearly sales of existing albums by the same group and the number of stores that stock the album." (= "They know the yearly amount sold of existing albums...")

Many thanks

• #### Biffo

##### Senior Member
There are several distinct albums by the group (a number of albums). They know the sales of each of those existing albums.

#### MattiasNYC

##### Senior Member
I would interpret "a number of" as being not all albums. Therefore if it was written "They know the yearly sales of existing albums" it would imply all albums because there is no word that restricts how many albums they track, whereas "a number of" to me implies fewer than all of them.

#### The Lord of Gluttony

##### Senior Member
I would interpret "a number of" as being not all albums. Therefore if it was written "They know the yearly sales of existing albums" it would imply all albums because there is no word that restricts how many albums they track, whereas "a number of" to me implies fewer than all of them.
I have been interpreting it in the same way. I would like to know whether other native speakers agree with us.

#### Myridon

##### Senior Member
You are agreeing with someone who is disagreeing with you. I don't know how to answer that.

#### The Lord of Gluttony

##### Senior Member
You are agreeing with someone who is disagreeing with you. I don't know how to answer that.
Dear MattiasNYC's post changed my opinion. Let's say the group has albums which are named A, B and C. The company knows sales of A and B, but not C. Therefore "a number of" is used.

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