Count (number) and Noncount (amount) Nouns
Some nouns can be counted: examples, for example
1, 2, 3, 4 examples? YES
A number of examples
Some nouns cannot be counted: evidence, for example
1, 2, 3, 4, evidences? NO
The amount of evidence
Just as you would never say 3 evidences, you should also never say: The amount of examples I offer in my essays.
Since they can be counted, those examples are referred to as the number of examples you include in your essays.
On the other hand, no matter how many pieces of evidence you bring to your essay, you would never refer to the number of evidences. The pieces can be counted, but evidence cannot, so we refer to the amount of evidence.
|COUNT—THE NUMBER||NONCOUNT—THE AMOUNT|
|The number of votes cast
(2,345 votes, more than last time)
|The amount of voting that was done
(a lot, even more than last time)
|The number of tax jurisdictions
(5 of them, fewer than in New Jersey)
|The amount of tax we pay
(a good bit, but less than in New Jersey)
|The number of dollars spent
($345,000, more than in 2012)
|A huge amount of money
(an enormous amount, more than in 2012)
|A number of olive oils
(45 types, fewer than at Trader Joe’s)
|The amount of olive oil
(gallons of it, but less than at Trader Joe’s)
In a Reply below, cut-and-paste the following paragraph and correct the count/noncount errors.
A large amount of votes were cast for the new tax on vape products, many of which were from first-time voters. In fact, more new voters went to the polls than ever, while less votes were cast by regular voters. We gave donuts to new voters; more than last year, but less than in 2012.