# “lower the amount” vs. “lower how many”

I need to lower the amount of cigarettes I smoke per day.

I need to lower how many cigarettes i smoke per day.

Do both the sentences mean the same thing? Is the second one grammatically correct?

• What is your specific language related question? Just comparing phrases is proofreading. Mar 20 '16 at 21:17
• @user3169: It's not proofreading if they're focusing on a particular point that's identified by e.g. being the only point of difference. Here, "the amount" vs "how many" is very obviously being asked about. That's a valid question. Mar 20 '16 at 21:39
• @NathanTuggy Sure, but even given "the amount" vs "how many", any research regarding the meaning before asking if they are the same? Even checking a dictionary? Mar 20 '16 at 22:16
• @user3169: You could maybe argue Details Please, but proofreading is an annoying red herring. But really, it can be answered reasonably as is, so if you don't like the lack of research, just downvote. Mar 20 '16 at 22:28
• @user3169: Asking whether a particular feature of a sentence is grammatical is not proofreading. Mar 20 '16 at 23:34

Both of your sentences are understandable and grammatically correct, and they both mean the same thing, that is you feel the need to smoke fewer cigarettes.

However when doing less of some quantity, one would usually say

I need to decrease the amount of cigarettes I smoke per day.
I need to decrease how many cigarettes I smoke per day.

I need to decrease the number of cigarettes I smoke per day.
I need to decrease how much I smoke.
I need to decrease my smoking.
I need to cut down on my smoking.

In your example, the amount and how many is interchangeable, both mean the total quantity of cigarettes you are smoking.

• Your answer doesn't explain or compare what they mean (that was the question). Mar 20 '16 at 22:20
• @user3169 +1 Funny how the simplest of things slip through sometimes. Mar 21 '16 at 2:55
• According to the dictionary, the amount can be used about countables such as cigarettes, but most native speakers would prefer to use how many or the number. It's confusing because amount is used about money, which ought to be countable but in English it's not- for example, we say "how much money". Mar 21 '16 at 5:25
• Both get used for money: "What amount of money is enough?", "How much money is enough?" Mar 21 '16 at 6:49