In order to mention another detail about items in one sentence, can I directly say like the following sentence:

we count the number of techniques used for efficient result.

I want to mean that techniques are used for efficient result. NOT the number of [...] are used for efficient result.

Again, to be clear, I want to enclose the sentence like this:

[we count the number of [techniques used for efficient result.]]

NOT like that:

[we count [the number of techniques used for efficient result.]]

is this a correct approach to mention what the techniques are in one sentence?

ADDED: It has been made clear to me that the sentence I should be asking about is this:

We count on a number of techniques used for efficient result.

  • It's still unclear to me. Do you mean you used several techniques to obtain efficient results? – Maulik V Feb 14 '14 at 11:11
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    Then don't use it! The techniques used to obtain efficient results. Or you mean you count on (rely on) a number of techniques to obtain efficient results? – Maulik V Feb 14 '14 at 11:15
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    Out of context, I'd read it as we count the number of [techniques used for efficient result], as you suggested. I think both techniques (which we've) used to obtain efficient results and techniques (which we've) used for efficient results work. However, if it's about a specific result in particular, and you've employed a number of techniques to reach such result, I might rephrase it to We (have) [employ(ed)|use(d)] a number of techniques [for|to obtain] the efficient result. – Damkerng T. Feb 14 '14 at 11:50
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    What we're having difficulty with is the verb count. 1) By itself count means "determine the quantity of"; if this is your meaning, then you do not count "the number", you count "the techniques" to arrive at a number: 4 or 7 or 123. 2) Count on means to "rely on" or "depend on"; if this is your meaning, you probably mean a number of, in the sense "many" or "several". 3) It is also possible that you have been misled by your dictionary and are using count to mean list. Use list to tell your readers you are going to name all the techniques. Which do you mean? – StoneyB Feb 14 '14 at 15:31
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    I was going to edit your question to reflect this; but that would make @CoolHandLouis' answer to the original form nonsensical, so I am going to add this at the bottom of your question. – StoneyB Feb 14 '14 at 15:44

We count on a number of techniques used for efficient result.

In this revised version of your sentence there is no ambiguity. The expression a number of is understood as a fixed-form quantifier, equivalent to “many” or ”several”. Consequently, this sentence will not be misunderstood in the particular way you fear.

However, it is still not a very good sentence, especially in a formal context, where language must be used with a maximum of precision.

First, some relatively minor points:

  • For efficient result is unidiomatic; we say either for an efficient result (article with singular) or for efficient results (no article with plural). It doesn’t matter much which you use.

  • A matter you have to be careful about is the common colloquial use of efficient to mean effective. Efficient means that your work involves no wasted effort; effective means that you arrive at the result you are seeking rather than at something else. We do not have sufficient context to judge which you mean.

  • There is some redundancy in the two expressions rely on and used for—both include the notion of a technique (or several techniques) being needed to achieve the desired result.

  • A number of (or several or many) is unnecessarily vague. You know how many techniques you have employed; why should you conceal this from your readers? It is simple courtesy to let your readers know exactly how many techniques they will have to deal with.

There are also two major points:

  • Efficient [or effective] result is a very dubious expression. Without more context it is impossible to know exactly what you should be saying; but I think it very unlikely that the result which you are aiming at is itself efficient [or effective]. What you probably mean is that you have developed a methodology which permits you arrive at the result in an efficient [or effective] manner.

  • The most serious problem is that it is not clear whether the multiple techniques you are talking about are individually efficient [or effective] in reaching the desired result or are efficient [or effective] only when all are used. I suspect (from your use of count on) that you mean the latter. You must let your readers know which you mean. Here are two contrasting examples:

    Any of five different techniques may be used to achieve the result efficiently [or effectively].

    Five different techniques are all required to to achieve the result efficiently [or effectively].

Note, by the way, that only the first two points above are matters of English usage. The others are equally valid in any language: they reflect the Adamantine Law of Written Language:

Anything which can be misunderstood will be.

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