is the difference between these words: amount, quantity
and number? I mean, can I say:
amount of cows were infected.
quantity of cows were infected.
number of cows were infected.
all three possible?
amount of something is how much of it there is that you can
measure. Amount is normally uncountable, so we CANNOT say:
'a large amount of cows were infected.'
we would say:
amount of work I got through in July was double the amount
that I did in June.
amount of love would heal the hatred she felt.
had a certain amount of respect for him: he was a good
footballer and a good ambassador for his country.
can also use amount as a verb, as in amount to, and
again this describes the counting or measuring of something:
you added everything up, his total expenditure on this project
amounted to £9,950.
dont think the talks in Helsinki will amount to very
a quantity is an amount of something that you can measure
or count. We often talk about large or small quantities of
something. It is usually applied to inanimate objects so again it
is unlikely that we would say: 'a large quantity of cows
were infected'. But we would say:
were very small quantities of peppers on sale in the market.
are very large quantities of gas beneath the North Sea.
often contrast quantity with quality:
doesnt matter how many words you write: it is the quality
that is important, not the quantity.
toys are sold in quantity and the quality doesnt
seem to matter.
use number to describe how many, and often we do not know
exactly how many there are. This is one of the defining aspects
of a number of. Number is countable and can be applied
to both animate and inanimate items, so this is the one that fits
large number of cows were infected.
are a number of reasons why I cant marry you.
number of people were injured in the explosion.
had warned her not to go there any number of times, but
she wouldnt listen.
in all of these instances is indefinite. Returning to your sentence,
Los, remember that if we are talking about a particular group of
cows, we would refer to them as 'a herd of cows':
whole herd of cows was infected.
you also know the expressions: a flock of sheep or a flock of birds,
a pack of wild dogs or a pack of wolves, a pack of cards and a pack
of lies? Study the following:
winter, the shepherds had to move with their flocks to
the lowland pastures.
whole flock of seagulls followed the ferry as it set out
from Dover across the Channel.
pack of wolves roamed the prairie. A number of them were
the pack of cards I bought yesterday there were five jokers.
told me a pack of lies. Nothing he said was true.