amount, number

(A similar topic is discussed in French in the article montant.)

Amount refers to something considered as a total or mass, as in an “amount of money.” Note that amount is never used in reference to people.

  • A large amount of grain is handled at Thunder Bay.
  • The amount of time Mr. Lukumbuzia volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club is laudable.
  • This cookie recipe calls for a tiny amount of salt.

Number refers to collective units and things that can be counted exactly or approximately, such as a “number of errors.”

  • The child laughed as a number of cantaloupes rolled down the supermarket aisle.
  • He’s very punctual: I can count on one hand the number of times he has been late.
  • During the ice storm of 2013, a huge number of people in Toronto had no electrical power.
  • The Festival acadien de Caraquet showcases the work of a large number of Acadian singers, musicians and poets.

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