Which one is correct to say?

  1. More numbers of tasks; or
  2. More number of tasks?

The full sentence is something like this: "In situation A, a user accomplishes more number of tasks than that in situation B." Also, I need to use the word "number", because it is about an equation.


  • 1
    "More tasks" is best, actually. If you must then "a greater number of tasks" is fine. – Andrew Jan 16 '17 at 21:00
  • A full sentence or more would be helpful to explain what is wrong here. – user3169 Jan 16 '17 at 21:09
  • The full sentence is something like this: "In situation A, a user accomplishes more number of tasks than that in situation B." Also, I need to use the word "number", because it is about an equation. – Ai Da Jan 16 '17 at 21:12
  • The full sentence is terrible. Go with what Andrew suggested or leave "number" out of it entirely. – Robusto Jan 16 '17 at 21:15
  • Perhaps you mean more numeric tasks? – RichF Jan 16 '17 at 21:19

The problem with 'more number of tasks' is that it is verging on tautology. 'More' means 'a greater number' (or 'a greater amount'), so what you are really saying is 'a greater number number of tasks'!

Better: 'more tasks', or 'a greater number of tasks' -- but I suggest you normally opt for the shorter choice! You may be referring to an equation, so might wish to use the word 'number', but you might also credit the reader with the realization that, because it is in reference to an equation, numbers will be involved.

While on the topic of 'more', the opposite of 'more' in the sense of 'a greater number' is 'fewer', never 'less', which is only used as the opposite of 'a greater amount'. So 'fewer birds', but 'less water'. We often see 'less' used for both senses, which is technically wrong -- but language DOES change, and this distinction may well disappear as more and more people fail to see the difference.

  • For the first part of your answer, I think the term you're looking for is pleonasm not tautology. However, I'm not sure it's helpful to approach it in this way. The problem is with count vs. mass nouns. – Igid Jan 29 '18 at 22:43

What I believe you are trying to express is that the user gets more things done, therefore you are looking for a single number of tasks which would be the bar for measurement

more number of tasks

however, your phrase would be better stated as

a greater number of tasks

meaning the number of tasks accomplished is more then otherwise.


Neither construction is correct.

more number of tasks

The problem with this phrase is that number, when used in the sense of 'quantity' (ie. "a quantity of Xs"/"a number of Xs"), is a mass noun whereas more only works for count nouns. Your other suggestion almost fixes this:

more numbers of tasks

Here numbers could be taken as a plural count noun, and so could be modified by more. The problem is that it no longer has the meaning of 'quantity', and simply refers to numbers as things (eg. "Which of the following numbers are even?"). As such, it doesn't make sense to say "numbers of tasks".

To confuse things, it is possible to use numbers as a mass noun as well, for example: "Significant numbers of voters are turning away from bipartisan politics." However, it's not so appropriate in this context, and in any case would not admit use of more.

If you insist on using number, the correct construction would be:

a greater number of tasks

Here, greater is the appropriate modifier for a mass noun. I'm not sure what you mean that it should be number because you're talking about equations. Since the word is being used in the sense of 'quantity' rather than to refer to mathematical numbers, there's no necessity to use it, unless you want to achieve a kind of punning or poetic allusion to the fact that numbers are involved. Otherwise, it would be much more natural to say simply:

more tasks

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