Quantifiers / Determiners


Quantifiers state precisely or suggest approximately the amount or the number of a noun. They can be grouped by the noun types they quantify. These expressions are mainly “some, any, many, much, a lot of, a little, a few …etc.

Also See:

Determiners Practice
Quantifiers Quizzes
Quantifiers Exercises
Pre-Determiners

Some & Any


“Some and any” are determiners and they express an indefinite quantity or number. “Some and Any” are used when it is not easy, necessary or important to say exactly how many / how much we want to mean. They are both used with countable and countable nouns.


“Some” is often used in affirmative statements.

1. SOME + COUNTABLE NOUNS : In this case, “some” means “ a few”.

There are some postcards in my bag.
There are some students in the class.
There are some cherries in the basket.
There are some mistakes in the list.


2. SOME + UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

There is some dust on the floor / There is some cheese in the fridge.

There is some fruit in the basket /There is some fish on the plate.


3. ANY + COUNTABLE NOUNS

“Any” is often used in negative sentences and questions.

There aren’t any people on the moon.
There aren’t any skyscrapers in our town.
There are not any empty chairs for the guests.


Are there any doctors in your family?
Yes, there are some doctors in my family.
No, there aren’t any doctors in my family.


4. ANY + UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS

There isn’t any milk in the bottle / There isn’t any honey at home.

There isn’t any cold water here / Is there any bread on the table?

Yes, there is some bread on the table.
No, there isn’t any bread on the table.

NOTE:

In a negative sentence, we can use “no” in place of “not any”; However, “no” can also be used with countable singular nouns. When “no” is used, the verb is always positive.

There aren’t any wild animals in the forest.
There are no wild animals in the forest.

There isn’t any milk at home.
There is no milk at home.

Some is also used in offers and requests.

Would you like some cake?
Could you do some typing for me?


MUCH / MANY


"Many and much" express a large quantity

Examples: (+)

I have many postcards.
She has got much influence on you.
There are many students in the class.
There is much orange juice in the glass.



Examples: (-)

There isn’t much sugar in the kitchen.
There aren’t many people in the streets.
He doesn’t have much time.
There isn’t much fun here.



Examples: (?)

Is there much rain in Istanbul?
Has Eric got much cash?
Are there many books in your bag?
Do you have many CDs?


NOTE:

“too much” and “too many” indicate an excess and are used in affirmative sentences.

There is too much noise in big cities.
There are too many people at the party.


HOW MUCH / HOW MANY


We use "How many" with plural nouns.
We use How much with uncountable nouns.

How many eggs?
How many sisters?
How many countries?
How many apples?
How much flour?
How much butter?
How much butter?
How much money?


A FEW / A LITTLE



Differences Between A FEW / FEW & A LITTLE / LITTLE

A few” expresses a small quantity. “Few” implies that something is not many, not enough or almost none. It expresses a negative idea.

I have a few close friends in town, and we have a very good time together.

I have few friends in town, so I feel lonely from time to time.


A little” expresses a small quantity. “Little” implies that something is not much, not enough or almost none. It expresses a negative idea.

We have a little make. Let’s make a cake.
We have little milk. We can’t make a cake.

Let's go and have a drink. We've got a little time before the train leaves. (a little time = some time, enough time to have a drink)

'Do you speak English?' 'A little.' (So we can talk a bit)

There is little sugar in my coffee. Could I have some more?


A LOT OF


Quantifier "a lot of" is used in all forms.

Instead of A lot of, we can use lots of.
Lots of is an informal form of a lot of.

Example sentences:

There are a lot of bus stops in Bornova.
I have got lots of story books.
Are there a lot of people in the queue? Yes, there are.
There is a lot of milk in the jug.
There isn’t a lot of honey in the hive.
Do you know a lot of people there?
She has lots of oxen on the farm.




More on Quantifiers


1-Quantifiers Used With Singular Count Nouns

  • Every: You make me laugh every time you lie.
  • Each: I will talk to each person invidually.
  • Either: Shevchenko could shoot very well with his either foot.
  • Neither: He is lucky, neither foot showed anything wrong.


2-Quantifiers Used With Plural Count Nouns

  • A Few:  I gave him a few candies.
  • Fewer: Fewer shops accept checks nowadays.
  • Many: They got married many years ago.
  • Great Many: Both sides had great many casualties in that war.
  • Several: Several buildings were damaged in the earthquake.
  • A Number of: A number of students failed the class.
  • plenty of: We have plenty of hot dogs, it should be enough.
  • a lot of / lots of: I've got a lot of candies.
  • enough: We have enough hot dogs but we need more buns.
  • any: Did you buy any hot dogs? Yes, five of them.
  • some: She needs to buy some books.


3-Quantifiers Used With Non-Count Nouns

  • plenty of: We have plenty of gas, it should be enough.
  • a lot of / lots of: I've got a lot of cash on me.
  • enough: We have enough gas, you don't have to worry.
  • any: Did you spend any cash? No, I didn't spend any.
  • some: She needs some fater advice.
  • a little: Give me a little money before you go.
  • less / more: You spend less time and lose more weight.
  • much: We don't have so much water in the tank.
  • a bit of: Can I have a bit of your chocolate?