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Zhan
Hi, everyone! amount/quantity/number I learnt that "amount" uncountable and "number/quantity" countable nouns. But recenlty I have heard:" are you tired of huge amount of courses?" (meaning English courses) Is that right? If yes, it is, Why?))
Apr 3, 2018 10:38 AM
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Comments · 3

It's not really right, but it is something that native English speakers often say. 

It's so common to hear native speakers say 'amount of people' or 'amount of times' that we barely notice it. Most people probably don't even realise that 'amount' should only be used for uncountable nouns.

An even worse "mistake" is when people say 'less' rather than 'fewer' for countable nouns.  This is also becoming increasingly common.

Sometimes you learners of English have a better grasp of the grammar of the language than native speakers do.

April 3, 2018
You're correct, 'number' would be the better choice in your example. However, if the number/quantity of something is extremely large -- or 'huge' -- it can become 'uncountable' and therefore 'amount' will make more sense. For example, "there's a tremendous amount of leaves on the ground" sounds more natural than "there's a tremendous number of leaves on the ground." I don't think 'number of courses' can get so large that it becomes 'uncountable' so your example doesn't really fall into that category.
April 3, 2018

Perhaps it should say "...a huge number of courses", but it'll be interesting to see if I'm missing something related to the countable vs. uncountable -rules pertaining to this example. There are people here who have far better knowledge of English grammar rules and -exceptions.

I would wager that you can find some incorrect usage of "amount" in e.g. many news articles written by native English-speakers, as this is one of those things that is easy to make mistakes with.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/amount-of-number-of-or-quantity-of

Some "pairs" for comparison:

Mail (uncountable) - Letters (countable)

Marijuana (uncountable) - Marijuana plants (countable)

Snow (uncountable) - Snowballs (countable)

Data (uncountable) - Documents (countable)


April 3, 2018
Zhan
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English