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Quantifiers






English Quantifiers





 Quantifiers 

 Quantifiers are words that are used to state quantity or amount of something without stating the actually number.


 Example 

  someanymany , muchfewlittleallenough, etc.  
 There are three types of quantifier; 


1 neutral quantifiers    some, any, several, enough, a number of…

2 quantifiers of large quantity    much, many, a lot of…

3 quantifiers of small quantity    few, a few, little, a little…



 1. Neutral quantifiers  

 Example 
  Some , Anyseveral , a number ofenough  

1-1 some & any 

 Some and any are used with countable and uncountable nouns, to describe an indefinite or incomplete quantity.



 Some is used in positive statements

It is also used in questions where we are sure about the answer.

 Example 

・I had some rice for lunch.
・He's got some books from the library.
・Did he give you some tea? (= I'm sure he did.)
・Is there some fruit juice in the fridge? (= I think there is



Any is used in questions and with not in negative statements.

It is also used when a sentence is grammatically positive, but the meaning of the sentence is negative.

 Example 

・Have you got any tea?
・He didn't give me any tea.
・I don't think we've got any coffee left.
・My brother never does any thing good.




1-2 Several and a number of 

 Several and a number of imply "more than one, but less than a lot". They are not usually used in negative or interrogative statements (asking a question.), only in positive statements.

 Example  

 Example 

Several people said that they'd seen the missing child.
・ A number of people said that they'd seen the missing child.



1-3 enough 

Enough implies a sufficient quantity; it is used in positive statements,negative statements and questions
 Example 

・We can get tickets for the concert, I've got enough money now.
・Have you got enough money for the tickets?


 2. Large quantity quantifiers 
 Example 

muchmany, lots ofplenty ofnumerous, etc. 




2-1 Much and many

Much is used with non count nouns (always in the singular)
 Example 

・I don't have much money.
How much money have you got?


Many is used with count nouns in the plural.
 Example 

・I don't have many apples.
How many dollars have you got?




NOTE:   Do not use much or many in positive statements. 


2-2 Lots of, a lot of, plenty of, a large number of, numerous

 These expressions all mean more or less exactly the same. In the list above, they are arranged in order of formality, going from the most informal (lots of) to the most formal(numerous). Informal language is more appropriate in dialogue, formal language in written documents.

 Example 

・There are lots of people in the queue today.
・There are numerous definitions of the word 'man'.



 3. Small quantity quantifiers  


 Example 

few, a few, little, a little, not many, not much, a small number of, etc..


 These quantifiers are normally only used in positive statements, to which they give a negative colouring.

3-1 little, a little, not much

 These are used with non count nouns (always in the singular)
 Example 

・ I've got a little money left.
・I know little English.
・I know a little English.


3-2 Few, a few, not many 

These are used with count nouns in the plural.

 Example 

Few people can speak more than three languages.
・We know few people in the area.
・We know a few people in the area.


 4. Few or a few, little or a little ?  

The difference between the two expressions in each phrase is purely one of meaning, not of usage.

 Example 

・We know few people in the area.
・We know a few people in the area.
・I know little English.
・I know a little English.



4-1  few and little

 Without the article, few and little (used respectively with count nouns and non-count nouns) have the meaning of "not muchnot many, and possibly less than one might hope for or expect". These expressions have a negative value to them.

    few/little - means that is not enough of something. 


 Example 

・There are few apples. There are not enough apples.

・They know little English. They can't get around very well. Theydon't know enough English to manage. 




4-2  a few and a little


 With the article, a few and a little have the meaning of "at least some, perhaps more than one might expect" . These expressions have a positive value.


   a few/a little  


 Means that there are not a lot of something, but there is enough. 


 Example 

・There are a few apples. There are enough apples. 

・I know a little English. He know enough English to manage.



【Table of usage for common English Quantifiers】

PositiveNegativeInterrogative
Neutralsome, several,
a number of, enough
any, enoughany, enough
Large
quantity
numerous, plenty of,
a lot of, lots of,
too many
much, many,
too many
much, many, too many
Small
quantity
few / a few, Little / a little




 It might be better to begin this section on quantifiers by looking at a few of them and to see how they operate with nouns. In the list that follows a Yes indicates the type of noun(s) that the quantifier generally can be used with (there are, as so often with English, obscure exceptions). As before, U refers to uncountable nouns and C refers to countable nouns.


QuantifierSingular
nouns (C)
Plural
nouns (C)
Uncountable
nouns (U)
all-yesyes
any-yesyes
both-yes-
eachyes--
enough-yesyes
everyyes--
few/a few/fewer-yes-
little/a little/less--yes
many-yes-
more-yesyes
some-yesyes
a lot of-yesyes




Here is a list of quantifiers 


0%, 10%, 50%, 100%, etc.
½, ¼, etc.
1, 2, 3, 4, etc.
one, two, three, four, etc.
one half, one third, one fourth, one quarter, one fifth, etc.
a bit
a couple
a few
a good deal
a good many
a great deal
a great many
a little
a little bit
a majority
a minority
a number
a quantity
all
an amount
another
any
any
both
certain
each
either
enough
enough
few
fewer
heaps
less
less
little
little
loads
lots
many
masses
more
more
most
much
much
neither
none
numbers
part
plenty
quantities
several
some
the majority
the remainder
the rest
the whole
tons
various