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There is a snippet of a text below where the number of speakers of different languages is not mentioned distinctly. It's just stated as "from very large" to "very small". I'd like to make a question regarding this information and get an answer like:

They range in number from very large, with hundreds of millions of speakers, to very small, with fewer than 10 speakers.

Original text:

Native speakers of these languages range in number from very large, with hundreds of millions of speakers, to very small, with fewer than 10 speakers.

Which question below is considered correct?

Q1. How do the speakers of different languages range in number?

Q2. To what lengths do the speakers of different languages range?

Q3. In what number do the speakers of different languages range?

Thanks.

3 Answers 3

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I think there is no simple question to guarantee that kind of answer.

However, something close would be:

What is the distribution of native speakers of these languages, by count?

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I feel you’d be unlikely to get such an answer from a question because of the necessity to condense “native speakers of these languages” to simply “they”.

As a statement, it sounds quite erudite, and would more likely be written down in an essay or something, than found in discourse.

However, perhaps such an answer would be appropriate to something like:

How many native speakers do these languages have?

But as mentioned by others, you couldn’t guarantee the answer would come in that form.

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The correct way to frame the question is -

What is the range of number of native speakers?

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