Q: amount, number 和 quantity 的用法有何不同呢? 下面三句都講得通嗎? 1. A large amount of chickens were infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu. 2. A large number of chickens were infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu. 3. A large quantity of chickens were infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu.

A:上面這三句只有第 2 句講得通,第 1 和第 3 句是錯誤的。請看下面的說明:

Amount 通常跟不可數 (uncountable)、無生命 (inanimate) 的名詞連用

  • The amount of work I got through in September was double the amount that I did in August. (我九月份的工作量是八月份的兩倍)
  • She spent a very large amount of money yesterday. (她昨天花了好大一筆錢)

Number 跟可數 (countable)、有生命 (animate) 或無生命 (inanimate) 的名詞連用

  • A small number of chickens were infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu. (少數雞隻感染了禽流感 H5N1 病毒)
  • The president has made a large number of mistakes. (總統犯了許多錯誤)

Quantity 通常跟可數或不可數、無生命的名詞連用

  • There are very large quantities of oranges on sale in the market. (目前有非常多的橘子在市場上銷售)
  • A vast/large quantity of imported beer has been sold. (已售出了大量的進口啤酒)

再者,從上面的例句可知,amount, number 和 quantity 的前面經常使用 vast, large, small 等表示數量大小的形容詞來修飾,而這些形容詞前面有時還會使用 very 等程度副詞來修飾。不過,要特別注意的是,在這些用法中,large 不可用 big 來替代,亦即 big 不可用在 amount, number 和 quantity 的前面。


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