Amount vs. Count — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Urooj Arif — Updated on April 15, 2024
Amount refers to the quantity of non-countable nouns (like water or sand), while count pertains to the quantity of countable nouns (like apples or books).

Key Differences

Amount is used when referring to the total quantity of something that is typically measured rather than counted, such as rice, water, or flour. Whereas, count applies to items that can be enumerated individually, like cars, people, or coins.
In contexts involving measurements like volume, mass, or weight, the term amount is appropriate, reflecting quantities that aren't distinctly separable. On the other hand, count is ideal for discrete units or items that can be physically separated and tallied.
When discussing abstract concepts such as love or freedom, amount is the suitable term to describe the extent or degree. Conversely, count would be incorrect in these scenarios as these concepts cannot be quantified in discrete units.
Instructions in recipes or chemistry often use amount to specify ingredients like sugar or salt, which are added in measurements such as cups or grams. Count, however, is used when the recipe requires a number of items, like three eggs or two lemons.
In statistical or data analysis, amount might be used to describe total sums of money, areas, or other aggregable data, emphasizing a collective quantity. Count, on the other hand, is used when referring to data points that are distinct and countable, such as survey responses or population counts.

Comparison Chart

Applicability

Non-countable nouns
Countable nouns

Examples

Sand, water, air
Apples, cars, people

Volume, mass
Number of items

Abstract Concepts

Used (e.g., amount of joy)
Not used

Statistical Usage

Aggregated data
Discrete data points

Compare with Definitions

Amount

Used in financial contexts to mean sum of money.
The amount of the bill shocked her.

Count

The total number of countable items.
The count of students present was 30.

Amount

The total sum of something measurable.
The amount of data processed was enormous.

Count

In legal terms, a point of indictment.
He faced three counts of burglary.

Amount

In the sense of aggregate quantity.
The amount of pollution in the city is rising.

Count

A simple enumeration or tally.
His count of mistakes was far too high.

Amount

A quantity of non-countable substance.
The amount of milk in the glass was just enough for the recipe.

Count

For rhythm or timing purposes in music or dance.
Keep the count to maintain the rhythm.

Amount

The extent or degree of something.
They didn't know the amount of work required.

Count

Used in contexts of periodic assessment.
The yearly bird count helps track species health.

Amount

A quantity of something, especially the total of a thing or things in number, size, value, or extent
The substance is harmless if taken in small amounts
Sport gives an enormous amount of pleasure to many people

Count

Count (feminine: countess) is a historical title of nobility in certain European countries, varying in relative status, generally of middling rank in the hierarchy of nobility. The etymologically related English term "county" denoted the land owned by a count.

Amount

Come to be (the total) when added together
Losses amounted to over 10 million pounds

Count

To name or list (the units of a group or collection) one by one in order to determine a total; number.

Amount

The total of two or more quantities; the aggregate.

Count

To recite numerals in ascending order up to and including
Count three before firing.

A number; a sum.

Count

To include in a reckoning; take account of
Ten dogs, counting the puppies.

Amount

A principal plus its interest, as in a loan.

Count

To include by or as if by counting
Count me in.

Amount

The full effect or meaning; import.

Count

To exclude by or as if by counting
Count me out.

Amount

Quantity
A great amount of intelligence.

Count

To believe or consider to be; deem
Count yourself lucky.

Amount

To add up in number or quantity
The purchases amounted to 50 dollars.

Count

To recite or list numbers in order or enumerate items by units or groups
Counted by tens.

Amount

To add up in import or effect
That plan will never amount to anything.

Count

To have importance
You really count with me.

Amount

To be equivalent or tantamount
Accusations that amount to an indictment.

Count

To have a specified importance or value
Their opinions count for little. Each basket counts for two points.

Amount

The total, aggregate or sum of material not applicable to discrete numbers or units or items in standard English.
The amount of atmospheric pollution threatens a health crisis.

Count

(Music) To keep time by counting beats.

Amount

A quantity or volume.
Pour a small amount of water into the dish.
The dogs need different amounts of food.

Count

The act of counting or calculating.

Amount

The number (the sum) of elements in a set.

Count

A number reached by counting.

Amount

To total or evaluate.
It amounts to three dollars and change.

Count

The totality of specific items in a particular sample
A white blood cell count.

Amount

To be the same as or equivalent to.
He was a pretty good student, but never amounted to much professionally.
His response amounted to gross insubordination

Count

(Law) Any of the separate and distinct charges or causes of action in an indictment or complaint.

Amount

To go up; to ascend.

Count

(Sports) The counting from one to ten seconds, during which time a boxer who has been knocked down must rise or be declared the loser.

Amount

To go up; to ascend.
So up he rose, and thence amounted straight.

Count

(Baseball) The number of balls and strikes that an umpire has called against a batter.

Amount

To rise or reach by an accumulation of particular sums or quantities; to come (to) in the aggregate or whole; - with to or unto.

Count

A nobleman in some European countries.

Amount

To rise, reach, or extend in effect, substance, or influence; to be equivalent; to come practically (to); as, the testimony amounts to very little.

Count

Used as a title for such a nobleman.

Amount

To signify; to amount to.

Count

(intransitive) To recite numbers in sequence.

Amount

The sum total of two or more sums or quantities; the aggregate; the whole quantity; a totality; as, the amount of 7 and 9 is 16; the amount of a bill; the amount of this year's revenue.

Count

(transitive) To determine the number of (objects in a group).
Count the number of apples in the bag and write down the number on the spreadsheet.

Amount

The effect, substance, value, significance, or result; the sum; as, the amount of the testimony is this.
The whole amount of that enormous fame.

Count

(intransitive) To amount to, to number in total.

Amount

How much of something is available;
An adequate amount of food for four people

Count

(intransitive) To be of significance; to matter.
It does count if you cheat with someone when you’re drunk.

Amount

A quantity of money;
He borrowed a large sum
The amount he had in cash was insufficient

Count

(intransitive) To be an example of something: often followed by as and an indefinite noun.
Apples count as a type of fruit.

Amount

How much there is of something that you can quantify

Count

(transitive) To consider something as an example of something or as having some quality; to account, to regard as.
He counts himself a hero after saving the cat from the river.
I count you as more than a friend.

Count

(transitive) To reckon in, to include in consideration.
They walked for three days, not counting the time spent resting.

Amount

Be tantamount or equivalent to;
Her action amounted to a rebellion

Count

To take account or note (of), to care (for).

Amount

Add up in number or quantity;
The bills amounted to \$2,000
The bill came to \$2,000

Count

To recount, to tell.

Amount

Develop into;
This idea will never amount to anything
Nothing came of his grandiose plans

Count

To plead orally; to argue a matter in court; to recite a count.

Count

The act of counting or tallying a quantity.
Give the chairs a quick count to check if we have enough.

Count

The result of a tally that reveals the number of items in a set; a quantity counted.

A countdown.

Count

(legal) A charge of misconduct brought in a legal proceeding.

Count

(baseball) The number of balls and strikes, respectively, on a batter's in-progress plate appearance.
He has a 3–2 count with the bases loaded.

Count

(obsolete) An object of interest or account; value; estimation.

Count

The male ruler of a county.

Count

A nobleman holding a rank intermediate between dukes and barons.

Count

(entomology) Any of various nymphalid butterflies of the genus Tanaecia. Other butterflies in this genus are called earls and viscounts.

Countable.

Count

To tell or name one by one, or by groups, for the purpose of ascertaining the whole number of units in a collection; to number; to enumerate; to compute; to reckon.
Who can count the dust of Jacob?
In a journey of forty miles, Avaux counted only three miserable cabins.

Count

To place to an account; to ascribe or impute; to consider or esteem as belonging.
Abracham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Count

To esteem; to account; to reckon; to think, judge, or consider.
I count myself in nothing else so happyAs in a soul remembering my good friends.

Count

To number or be counted; to possess value or carry weight; hence, to increase or add to the strength or influence of some party or interest; as, every vote counts; accidents count for nothing.
This excellent man . . . counted among the best and wisest of English statesmen.

Count

To reckon; to rely; to depend; - with on or upon.
He was brewer to the palace; and it was apprehended that the government counted on his voice.
I think it a great error to count upon the genius of a nation as a standing argument in all ages.

Count

To take account or note; - with

Count

To plead orally; to argue a matter in court; to recite a count.

Count

The act of numbering; reckoning; also, the number ascertained by counting.
Of blessed saints for to increase the count.
By this count, I shall be much in years.

Count

An object of interest or account; value; estimation.

Count

A formal statement of the plaintiff's case in court; in a more technical and correct sense, a particular allegation or charge in a declaration or indictment, separately setting forth the cause of action or prosecution.

Count

A nobleman on the continent of Europe, equal in rank to an English earl.

Count

The total number counted;
A blood count

Count

The act of counting;
The counting continued for several hours

Count

A nobleman (in various countries) having rank equal to a British earl

Count

Determine the number or amount of;
Can you count the books on your shelf?

Count

Have weight; have import, carry weight;
It does not matter much

Count

Show consideration for; take into account;
You must consider her age
The judge considered the offender's youth and was lenient

Count

Name or recite the numbers;
The toddler could count to 100

Count

Put into a group;
The academy counts several Nobel Prize winners among its members

Count

Include as if by counting;
I can count my colleagues in the opposition

Count

Have faith or confidence in;
Look to your friends for support
You can bet on that!
Depend on your family in times of crisis

Count

Take account of;
You have to reckon with our opponents
Count on the monsoon

Common Curiosities

Can you use 'amount' for things you can count?

Typically, 'amount' is used for uncountable quantities, such as liquids or concepts, while 'count' is used for countable items.

Is 'count' associated only with numbers?

Yes, 'count' specifically involves numbers as it relates to counting individual, countable items.

What is the basic difference between 'amount' and 'count'?

'Amount' refers to a quantity of something that is not countable, whereas 'count' refers to the act of determining the total number of discrete items.

What types of nouns require the use of 'amount'?

'Amount' is used with mass nouns or uncountable nouns such as water, sand, or information.

Why is it incorrect to say 'the amount of people'?

Since people are countable, the correct term is 'the number of people', not 'the amount of people'.

How do you decide when to use 'amount' vs. 'count'?

Use 'amount' for uncountable nouns and 'count' when referring to the total number of countable objects.

What is a common error in using 'amount' in sentences?

A common error is using 'amount' with plural nouns that are countable, such as "the amount of cars."

Can 'amount' and 'count' be used interchangeably?

No, they cannot be used interchangeably due to their specific usages with countable and uncountable nouns.

Can 'amount' ever be used with people?

It can be used in a collective or abstract sense, like "The amount of happiness people feel."

What is an example of using 'amount' correctly?

An example would be, "The amount of sugar in this recipe is too much."

What is an example of using 'count' correctly?

An example would be, "Count the number of chairs to ensure everyone has a seat."

What would be a grammatical mistake involving 'count'?

It would be incorrect to say "Count the amount of water," since water should not be counted but measured.

Is 'amount' related to volume or mass?

Yes, 'amount' often relates to volume or mass, particularly when discussing measurements of uncountable goods.

Can 'count' be used as a noun and a verb?

Yes, 'count' can be both a noun, meaning the total number counted, and a verb, meaning the act of counting.

How can educators teach the difference between 'amount' and 'count'?

Educators can teach the difference by using examples and exercises that highlight the correct usage of each term with countable and uncountable nouns.

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Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.