Quantity vs Unit
Quantity and unit are both nouns that tell about the amount or number in which the object is present or required. We cannot count things in atoms or molecules, and there is a basic measurable quantity to help people make a quick comparison such as heights of people, distances between places, weights of products, and so on. Unit is a similar term to measure things. This article attempts to highlight the difference between quantity and unit, to enable readers to make correct usage of the two nouns.
There are products selling in numbers, and there are also products selling in measurable quantities called units. For example, we are told the rates of eggs per dozen while it is obvious that it is hard to calculate the price per grain of rice, and that is why we are told the rate in terms of its weight, which could be kilogram or pound. Liquid products are always sold in units as there is no way to find individual number of molecules.
If you are buying a product that contains 3 kg of that product in a box, it is easy to see that the unit in which it has been packed and sold is kg while the quantity of the product is 3. So wherever you see the contents of a box described with a number with the unit next to it, you can safely assume how many units you are getting for its price.
We assume that quantity is always more than a standard unit. However, there are products that are sold in a fraction of the base unit such as half a kg or half a pound or quarter of a liter. Quantity is different from a number though it tries to tell the vastness or amount of a product. When you see someone carrying a large sack of a product without knowing the exact amount of units, you safely say that the person is carrying a huge quantity of the product.
Units have been devised to make it clear and standardize things, to help people, particularly traders. For example, a cloth merchant selling cloth in his shop cannot obviously sell cloth without measuring the quantity in standard units. Even a customer, knowing how much a tailor would need to sew his shirt would ask the merchant that quantity, speaking in units. Imagine a doctor recommending taking a liquid without the help of units and the patient facing difficulty, taking the dosage as guesswork. This is where the difference between quantity and unit becomes most glaring.
What is the difference between Quantity and Unit?
• Both quantity and unit are the amount or vastness of a product, but they are not synonyms.
• Quantity can be more or less, or sufficient or insufficient, but units let you know the exact quantity.
• Units have been devised to standardize the measurement worldwide; the length of 1 km is the same the world over.