What Does Quantity Mean in Math?

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  • 0:05 What Does Quantity Mean?
  • 1:35 Examples of Quantities
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

How many marbles are in the bag? How much money is in the piggy bank? These questions, and other similar questions typically asked in math, have to do with quantity. In this lesson, you will learn about what the word quantity means.

What Does Quantity Mean?

Let's say that your history teacher just assigned you to read 55 pages in your textbook tonight. As you watch everyone else go outside to play, you open your book and scream out, This quantity of reading is just too much! Well, maybe you didn't say exactly that, but you probably did feel like the quantity of reading was too much for one night of homework.

A quantity is an amount, number, or measurement. It answers the question 'how much?'. Quantities can be described using numbers, like 55 pages of reading. These numbers can be expressed as whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, and units of measurement such as time, money, length, and weight.

Additionally, quantities can be expressed in non-standard units. Non-standard units compare a quantity to another object. For example, you could say that the quantity of pasta or rice in a bowl is two handfuls. This compares the quantity of pasta or rice to how much could fit in two hands. However, you may not want to play with your food like that at the table!

In more advanced math, quantity is sometimes used to describe an unknown amount. For example, someone may say, 'y equals the quantity of x minus 4 plus 3' to describe the equation y = (x - 4) + 3. Quantity is used to describe the amount in the parentheses because the value of x - 4 will change depending on what number is put in for x. However, it will still be a number, or quantity, that is then added to 3.

Examples of Quantities

To better understand what quantity means, let's look at a few more examples.

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