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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 3rd, 2010, 03:43 pm
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Default units of measurement

Hello,

Could you please help me find the correct word? I am filling in a table. It has three columns: Item and its specification; Units of measurement; and Quantity.

When I have wire, for example, everything is clear for me:
- Item and its specification: Electric Wire
- Units of measurement: m
- Quantity: 200

I am not sure about the units of measurement for smoke detectors
- Item and its specification: Smoke Detector
- Units of measurement: unit? item?
- Quantity: 15

Thank you.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 5th, 2010, 06:14 pm
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Default Re: units of measurement

Smoke detectors are sold individually. I'd say "each."

Last edited by bread_baker : Dec 5th, 2010 at 06:13 pm. Reason: more information
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 6th, 2010, 01:17 am
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Default Re: units of measurement

There really isn't a unit of measurement needed with something like a smoke detector. I would probably say "three smoke detectors." "Unit" acts more like a pronoun, so rather than say "this smoke detector" you can say "this unit."

"Unit" is similar to "item," but I would say that the former applies to apartments and appliances, larger and more complex items, and the latter applies to smaller objects, like stationery or jewelry. If you are talking about shopping purchases, you can say "There are 5 items in the shopping cart."
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 6th, 2010, 05:46 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: units of measurement

You'll find that in business, companies do talk about "units" or "items" to describe their production capacity. So a company making smoke detectors might say eg that it produced 500,000 units per year. Click here for an example from the automobile industry which says that the carmaker Bentley is aiming to sell 1,000 units annually to China. 1 unit = 1 product so in this case, 1,000 cars.

Here an example with "items" : Production Network Benetton's manufacturing operations are based on its own factories ... It is responsible for producing around 20 million items per year.

So either would be fine.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 6th, 2010, 10:04 am
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Default Re: units of measurement

I'd use "units" for what it seems you have there. I'm assuming (like Sue) this is for business.

"items" actually sounds like different products to me. Maybe some variation on a single product or different products. "A company that produces 20 million items" sounds like a few different products are produced, totaling 20 million.

@Tanialoves - sorry if we're causing more uncertainty with all of these different view points.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 7th, 2010, 05:53 am
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Default Re: units of measurement

Thank you all for answering.
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