Amount vs. Number: What’s The Difference?

If you stop and think for a second, amount and number seem like they are pretty similar, right? Even native English-speakers have confused words like these. They are similar but they have a key difference in English grammar. The word number refers to something that can be counted or a “countable noun”; whereas the word amount is used for things that can’t be counted, or an “uncountable noun” that usually refers to a large amount or a large quantity of something. 

Examples:

  • Amount: non-count noun/mass noun
    1. It takes an immense amount of energy to wake up with two toddlers. 
    2. I thought that my life was going perfectly but things can get in the way a good amount of the time.
  • Number: countable noun
    1. Can you count the number of people as they enter the conference room for me?
    2. Believe it or not, my dog can count to 5.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Amount?

  • the sum total of two or more quantities or sums; aggregate.
  • the sum of the principal and interest of a loan.
  • quantity; measure:
    • a great amount of resistance.
    • a great amount of work.
    • There is a great amount of sugar in that coffee.
    • There is a great amount of sand on the beach. 
  • the full effect, value, or significance.
  • to total; add (usually followed by to):
    • The repair bill amounts to $300.
  • to reach, extend, or be equal in number, quantity, effect, etc.; be equivalent (usually followed by to):
    • It is stated differently but amounts to the same thing.
  • to develop into; become (usually followed by to):
    • With his intelligence, he should amount to something when he grows up.

What Is the Definition of the Word Number?

  • a numeral or group of numerals.
  • the sum, total, count, or aggregate of a collection of units, or the like:
    • A number of people were hurt in the accident. The number of homeless children in the city has risen alarmingly.
      • In most cases, saying the “amount of people” is incorrect unless it is an extremely large number. 
    • There are a number of things wrong with the situation.
  • a word or symbol, or a combination of words or symbols, used in counting or in noting a total.
  • the particular numeral assigned to an object so as to designate its place in a series:
    • house number; license number.
  • one of a series of things distinguished by or marked with numerals.
  • a certain collection, company, or quantity not precisely reckoned, but usually considerable or large:
    • I’ve gone there a number of times.
  • the full count of a collection or company.
  • a collection or company.
  • a quantity of individuals:
    • Their number was more than 20,000.
  • a considerable amount or quantity; many:
    • Numbers flocked to the city to see the parade.
  • metrical feet; verse.
  • musical periods, measures, or groups of notes.
  • numbers pool (def. 1).
  • Informal. the figures representing the actual cost, expense, profit, etc.:
    • We won’t make a decision until we see the numbers.

 Example Sentences of the Word Number in Context

 

Examples of the Word Amount in Context

Summary

I hope that you now are well-versed in the differences between the words amount and number in English.

Sources:

  1. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/amount?s=t
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/olivia-troye-coronavirus-white-house/2020/09/17/d3f67ede-f8ed-11ea-a510-f57d8ce76e11_story.html
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/09/15/trump-biden-live-updates/
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/09/15/congress-democrats-coronavirus-relief-economy/
  5. https://fortune.com/2020/09/15/instagram-facebook-kim-kardashian-katy-perry-and-leonardo-dicaprio-celebrities-stop-hate-for-profit/
  6. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/turning-point-teens-disinformation-trump/2020/09/15/c84091ae-f20a-11ea-b796-2dd09962649c_story.html
  7. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/06/patton-oswalt-on-sith-lords-and-fighting-conservatism-with-satire.html?source=dictionary
  8. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/02/u-s-embassies-have-always-been-for-sale.html?source=dictionary
  9. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/01/japanese-bitcoin-heist-an-inside-job-not-hackers-alone.html?source=dictionary
  10. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/23/pope-francis-denounces-the-vatican-elite-s-spiritual-alzheimer-s.html?source=dictionary
  11. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/19/why-congress-hates-your-cuban-rum.html?source=dictionary
  12. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28065/28065-h/28065-h.htm
  13. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15627/15627-h/15627-h.htm
  14. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/number?s=t