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sentence 1 : Kyoto has the lowest passenger numbers of all the cities

sentence 2 : Kyoto has the lowest passenger number of all the cities

Do the two sentences above have different meanings when I use numbers instead of number

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Passenger numbers is an established phrase, perhaps because when we talk about this, we are nearly always talking about the number of passengers for each day/week/month/journey over a period, so we are usually dealing with more than one number.

If you say passenger number it is not an established phrase, and people might wonder why you were referring to only one number, or perhaps think that it meant something different (the reference number on the passenger's ticket, or something).

So I would expect no 1, even if you were talking about a single sampling, and hence a single number.

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