I just can't understand when i should use one of these words and when another. They are too similar, but looks like they are not absolutely the same. So what is the difference between them?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Maulik V, Jonathan Garber, choster, Tyler James Young, Gilles Feb 6 '14 at 22:33

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 5
    Hi Hast, welcome to ELL! Can you please add more information to your question about research you've done, and how exactly you're confused? Perhaps an example sentence where you're not sure which words to use? These words are all related but quite different from one another, so if we know exactly when you're getting confused it will help us to better answer your question. – WendiKidd Mar 6 '13 at 2:14

Number(v) = Give something a number.

There are 4 apples, number them.

a large/small number of (n) = To measure ANYTHING when we don't know exactly how many

There are a large number of people at the beach today.

Count (v) = How many are there.

Count the apples.
There are 4 apples.

Count (n) = How many of something are there.

What is the apple count?
There are 4 apples.

Amount to (v) = To measure something, not alive, which CAN NOT be counted.

The meeting between China and the USA amounted to nothing.

Amount (n) = To measure something, not alive, which CAN NOT be counted.

There is no amount of money that will make me do that.

quantity (n) = To measure something, not alive, that CAN be counted.

There is a large quantity of stores in the shopping mall.

In common conversation you can always use "a lot of" to describe any large number, amount or quantity and "not many/much" to describe any small number, amount or quantity.

  • 4
    I have never heard "There are 4 apples, number them." in the US. We would say "count them". Unless you are putting numbers on the apples, that is. You could say "There are 4 apples, this one is number 3" referring to the third apple in the group. – user485 Mar 6 '13 at 19:22
  • 1
    @user485 : I did read Number(v) = Give something a number."" as "you put a number on them". So you would end up with four numbered apples. The example is correct, if not entirely recognizable as a common real-life situation :) – oerkelens Feb 5 '14 at 18:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.