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What is the main difference between "amounts for" and "amounts to"? As much as I know they are phrasal verbs of amount. The meaning of "amounts to" can be easily found by googling it. But no results were displayed for the meaning of "amounts for". Can you provide some examples for both.

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  • Perhaps the reason that Google shows no hits is that the phrase is really uncommon. Where do you expect to see or use "amount for"? "Amounts to" is an idiomatic way of saying "equals" or "approximates." – Rob_Ster Feb 25 '16 at 3:49
  • I found the phrase "amounts for" in a question paper. The complete sentence: The water probably amounts for just a few percent of weight of the surface of Mars. – HDatta Feb 25 '16 at 3:53
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    Question writers are fallible. In the context you provide, the writer probably meant to say (or should have said) accounts for.. It's either a typo or a solecism. – Rob_Ster Feb 25 '16 at 3:59
  • Ok so is there a phrase called "amounts for", if yes then can you provide me its meaning? – HDatta Feb 25 '16 at 4:06
  • Reptile1234, no "amounts for" is not a phrase. As @Rob_Ster says, the sentence you quote should have said "accounts for." – Doug Glancy Feb 25 '16 at 5:05
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amounts to means adds up to. Example:

Greg Smith won £6 and Alex Smith won £5, that amounts to £11 in winnings for the Smith family.

amounts for is not a set phrase, and is just the word "amounts" next to the word "for". Example for how this could arise:

I bought 10kg of silver and 10kg of gold for my jewellery shops. The amounts for my shop in London are 5kg of silver and 8kg of gold, with the balance being for my shop in Birmingham.


From comments it appears this question is from a quote:

The water probably amounts for just a few percent of weight of the surface of Mars.

As per other people's comments, this should be either amounts to or, more likely, accounts for. It is probably a typo.

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