Word Choice – Amount Versus Number

“Amount” and “number” are words that are often misused. “Amount” is used for money amounts and for things that cannot be physically counted.

Example

The amount of work has increased this year.

“Number” refers to things that can be counted.

Example

I spent the day reducing the number of emails in my inbox.

Exercise

1. His report answered a (amount, number) of our questions.

2. He had only a small (amount/number) of money in his pocket, but he gave a (amount/number) of coins to the charity.

3. A large (amount, number) of managers attended the meeting.

4. That mailing killed a (amount, number) of trees needlessly.

5. The (amount, number) of time we had to complete the project was insufficient.

Answers:
1) number, 2) amount/number, 3) number, 4) number, 5) amount

Trust this helps!

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