Every week I will demonstrate an example of poor English where a different word is used from the one intended. Sometimes this creates a grammatically incorrect sentence. Unfortunately, the mistake is usually so pervasive that we all do it and such errors are usually made by those who should know better – journalists working for national or global media outlets such as newspapers and television.
Amount / Number
This is another that people get confused and it’s related to one that is far more common (and I have covered it already): Less / Fewer.
One is a countable noun and the other is a non-countable noun.
Like less, amount refers to a volume; like fewer, number refers to a measurable quantity that can be counted. You will say you have less flour than you thought so will have fewer cakes. Substituting the words: “the amount of flour will affect the number of cakes you can make.”
Grammar Monster has a handy tip that you should use amount with a singular word and number with a plural. The sentence above demonstrates this amount of flour and number of cakes