Pick the right quantifier

In answering the questions How much? and How many?, some quantifiers can only go with countable nouns (friends, cups, people), some quantifiers can only go with uncountable nouns (sugar, tea, money), and some quantifiers can be used with any type of noun.

Only with uncountable nouns With all nouns Only with countable nouns
a little no, none, not any a few
a bit of some a number of
  any several
a great deal of a lot of, lots of a great number of
a large amount of plenty of a large number of
Examples
  • Would you like some tea and a few cookies?
  • I always put a little milk and some carrots in my soup.
  • He has several apples. I don't have any fruit at all.
  • She has plenty of clothes for the winter.
  • I recieved a large amount of feedback from my survey.
Using Much & Many

Much and many are often used in negative and question forms. They are also used with too & so in both affirmative and negative statements. Note that while many can be used by itself in affirmative statements, much cannot be. Much is replaced by a lot of or lots of in affirmative statements (many can be replaced as well.)

Countable noun Uncountable noun
How much sugar do you have? How many people came to the concert?
There's not much sugar at the store. Not many people came to the concert.
I have too much sugar at home. There were too many people at the concert.
I don't know what to do with so much sugar. It's a problem when there are so many people.
I wish there was not so much sugar here. There were not so many people last year.
There is a lot of sugar in candy. There are many people who want to come. = There are a lot of people who want to come.

 

Share this: