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Counting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Counting
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Counting is the action of finding the number of elements of a

finite set of objects. The traditional way of counting consists of continually increasing a (mental or spoken) counter by a unit for every element of the set, in some order, while marking (or displacing) those elements to avoid visiting the same element more than once, until no unmarked elements are left; if the counter was set to one after the first object, the value after visiting the final object gives the desired number of elements. Counting is also used (primarily by children) to demonstrate knowledge of the

number names and the

number system. The related term

enumeration refers to determining the number of elements of a

finite (combinatorial)

set in some manner, not necessarily by explicitly counting in the above sense.

Counting using

tally marks.
Counting sometimes involves numbers other than one; for example, when counting money, counting out change, when "counting by twos" (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, ...) or when "counting by fives" (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, ...).
There is archeological evidence suggesting that humans have been counting for at least 50,000 years. Counting was primarily used by ancient cultures to keep track of economic data such as debts and capital (i.e.,

accountancy). The development of counting led to the development of

mathematical notation and

numeral systems.

## Contents

## Forms of counting

Counting can occur in a ...

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