English translation: N and M represent/ quantify prey and predators respectively
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18:28 May 17, 2005
English to English translations [PRO] Science - Science (general) / scientific writing
English term or phrase:are the number(s) of
N and M are the number(s) of preys and predators, respectively.
I'm not sure which is correct here: "number" or "numberS" if N and M denote how many preys and predators are.
The key word here is "respectively". That makes it clear that the meaning is "number of prey and number of predators." Since using "numbers" would imply "numbers of prey", it would be confusing and should be avoided. Only in that sense is it incorrect.
"The number of" as an amount of something would be followed by a plural noun (like "the number of animals"); "the number of" as a label would be followed by a singular noun (like the number of the group). I would also like to hear others comment of this.
To Ruth: "The most striking features of my collection are the numbers of Curculionidæ and of Longicorns, far beyond the usual proportion of those families" - and this from Alfred Rassel Wallace, a British nineteenth-century naturalist
There is something I do not understand, but am too uncertain to agree or disagree with any of the answers. If N is the number of prey and M is the number of predators, then how can N and M fail to become plural - "numbers of prey and predators, resp."?
Ecological Archives E086-072-A4
... of number of prey and number of predators, respectively, just as in Figs. ...
compare the cumulative distributions of the number of prey and predators ...
www.esapubs.org/archive/ecol/E086/072/appendix-D.htm - 23k -
20:11 May 17, 2005
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3 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +5
Explanation: A and B = 2 = plural
ARE the numbers i.e. plural again, would confirm this
swisstell Italy Local time: 10:24 Native speaker of: German