Writing for Business

Dec 7 2009   2:08PM GMT

Amount vs. number

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
A large ______ of dependencies in an operating system can make it hard to change one thing without impacting others.
a. amount
b. number

Answer: b

Use number to refer to anything countable and amount to refer to something that can’t be counted.

For example, you would say that Microsoft makes a large number of dollars but a large amount of money because money is not an individual unit.

Think of it this way: You can count any number of beans but you can’t count bean dip, no matter how large or small the amount.

See more questions about numbers.

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