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are the number(s) of

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.

Thank you so much, in advance
Nik-On/Off
Ukraine
Local time: 11:24
English translation:N and M represent/ quantify prey and predators respectively
Explanation:
I would rephrase this with either of the options above ... :)

I would also go with "prey" (works for both singular and plural)

If not, it would be "number" of prey and predators

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Note added at 13 mins (2005-05-17 18:41:45 GMT)
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I would use \"numbers\" if you have the exact figures (e.g. 100 and 10 are the numbers FOR prey and predators, respectively)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2005-05-17 18:42:18 GMT)
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but that isn\'t the case here .....

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Note added at 14 mins (2005-05-17 18:43:11 GMT)
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the numbers = figures/ statistics
Selected response from:

David Hollywood
Local time: 05:24
Grading comment
I would like to say thanks to all of you for very interesting discussion, even though no consensus has been reached.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5N and M represent/ quantify prey and predators respectively
David Hollywood
4 +5numbers
swisstell
5 +3N is the number of prey and M the number of predators
Can Altinbay
4 +3numberMPGS
3 +2number, but rephrasing would be better
Balasubramaniam L.


Discussion entries: 8





  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
numbers


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

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alexander Demyanov
1 min
  -> thanks, Alex

agree  Armorel Young: like you'd say "X and Y are the names of my brother and sister" - not "name"
6 mins
  -> thank you. Excellent analogy!

agree  Attila Piróth
13 mins
  -> thanks, Attila

agree  RHELLER: exactly - N alone would be number
25 mins
  -> merci, Rita

agree  jennifer newsome
27 mins
  -> thanks a lot

disagree  Refugio: What this really means is: N and M are the number of prey and the number of predators. Numbers would be incorrect. // See above.
50 mins
  -> prove it!

agree  Rania KH
3 hrs
  -> thanks, Rania

agree  Jörgen Slet
4 hrs
  -> mit Dank, Jörgen!

disagree  David Moore: I agree with Ruth
13 hrs
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
N and M represent/ quantify prey and predators respectively


Explanation:
I would rephrase this with either of the options above ... :)

I would also go with "prey" (works for both singular and plural)

If not, it would be "number" of prey and predators

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2005-05-17 18:41:45 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I would use \"numbers\" if you have the exact figures (e.g. 100 and 10 are the numbers FOR prey and predators, respectively)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2005-05-17 18:42:18 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

but that isn\'t the case here .....

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 mins (2005-05-17 18:43:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

the numbers = figures/ statistics

David Hollywood
Local time: 05:24
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
I would like to say thanks to all of you for very interesting discussion, even though no consensus has been reached.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: Preys is technically possible, but prey is much more common. Prey animals, items.
6 mins

agree  Refugio
43 mins

agree  Mikhail Kropotov
10 hrs

agree  Quicksilver
1 day7 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
1 day20 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
N is the number of prey and M the number of predators


Explanation:
When in doubt, recast. No point in batching things up when it leads to a quandry that no one seems to agree on. To put it another way, when in doubt, simplify.


Can Altinbay
Local time: 04:24
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in JapaneseJapanese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio
1 hr
  -> Thank you.

agree  Mikhail Kropotov: "a quandry that no one seems to agree on?" :))) and yes, KISS applies :)
8 hrs
  -> Thank you, Mikhail. :))) indeed, :).

agree  Robert Donahue: Best option given here. :-)
14 hrs
  -> Thank you, Robert.
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
number, but rephrasing would be better


Explanation:
Here N and M do not stand for number, but N stands for "number of preys" and M stands for "number of predators".

Therefore we cannot make just "number" plural, because number is only part of the phrase that N and M stand for.

"number of preys and predators" is short for "number of preys and number of predators" as Ruth has explained.

The sentence does create confusion and therefore rewording it would be a better option.

My take:
N represents the number of preys and M that of the predators.



Balasubramaniam L.
India
Local time: 13:54
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in HindiHindi

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mikhail Kropotov: reword
2 hrs
  -> Thanks

agree  Robert Donahue: True enough.
8 hrs
  -> Thanks.
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2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
number


Explanation:
:)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 mins (2005-05-17 18:43:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

N and M are the number of preys and (THAT OF) predators

:)

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Note added at 4 days (2005-05-22 15:30:51 GMT) Post-grading
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Thanks :)

MPGS
Local time: 10:24
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Refugio: Yes.. what this really means is: N and M are the number of prey and the number of predators. Numbers would be incorrect.
50 mins
  -> Thank you Ruth :)

agree  Clauwolf
2 hrs
  -> Thank you Clauwolf :)

agree  David Moore
13 hrs
  -> Thank you David :)
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