We use quantifiers when we want to give someone information about the number of something: how much or how many.

Sometimes we use a quantifier in the place of a determiner:

Most children start school at the age of five.
We ate some bread and butter.
We saw lots of birds.

We use these quantifiers with both count and uncount nouns:

 

all any enough less a lot of lots of
more most no none of some  

 

and some more colloquial forms:

 

plenty of heaps of a load of loads of tons of  etc.

 

Some quantifiers can be used only with count nouns:

 

both each either (a) few fewer neither several

 

and some more colloquial forms:

 

a couple of hundreds of thousands of etc.

 

 

Some quantifiers can be used only with uncount nouns:

 

a little (not) much a bit of

 

And, particularly with abstract nouns such as time, money, trouble, etc:, we often use:

 

a great deal of a good deal of

 

Members of groups

You can put a noun after a quantifier when you are talking about members of a group in general…

Few snakes are dangerous.
Both brothers work with their father.
I never have enough money.

…but if you are talking about a specific group of people or things, use of the … as well

Few of the snakes are dangerous.
All of the children live at home.
He has spent all of his money.

Note that, if we are talking about two people or things we use the quantifiers both, either and neither:

 

One supermarket Two supermarkets* More than two supermarkets

The supermarket was closed

The supermarket wasn't open

I don’t think the supermarket was open.

Both the supermarkets were closed.

Neither of the supermarkets was open.

I don’t think either of the supermarkets was open.

All the supermarkets were closed

None of the supermarkets were open

I don't think any of the supermarkets were open

 

*Nouns with either and neither have a singular verb.

 
Singular quantifiers:

We use every or each with a singular noun to mean all:

 

There was a party in every street.  = There were parties in all the streets.
Every shop was decorated with flowers.  = All the shops were decorated with flowers.
Each child was given a prize.  = All the children were given a prize.
There was a prize in each competition.  = There were prizes in all the competitions.

 

We often use every to talk about times like days, weeks and years:

When we were children we had holidays at our grandmother’s every year.
When we stayed at my grandmother’s house we went to the beach every day.
We visit our daughter every Christmas.

BUT: We do not use a determiner with every and each. We do not say:

The every shop was decorated with flowers.
The each child was given a prize.

Activities
 

Choose the correct quantifier

 

Section: 

Comments

Hi! The last question in the activity is Can you give me some advice? Although we hear people say an advice all the time. Why is an advice wrong? I explained to my students that advice is a non-count noun- you say a piece of advice, a sound advice.

Hi ranahabib,

'Advice' is an uncountable noun and so we do not use 'an' before it. You can say 'some advice' or 'a piece of advice', as you say. You can use the adjective 'sound', but only to modify 'advice' in the same phrases - 'some sound advice', 'a piece of sound advice'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you! That's exactly what I explained to my students. I just wanted to confirm that :) I appreciate your prompt reply!

hello ranahabib,
yes, you are right advice in uncountable noun.
'a piece of advice' is right.

best regards.
Afia shakir khan

Thank you! I appreciate your reply!!

Rana

Can we say ' Would you like a biscuit'? or Would you like a sandwich?

Hello naghmairam,

Yes, those sentences are perfectly fine.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good evening ..
can anyone explain how to use "either/neither" ?
I tried to understand what the difference between them by reading the examples which have been written above but I didn't get the idea yet !
Thanks for ur help . :)

Hello marwa kassoumeh,

We use these words when we are talking about two items (not more).

Imagine we have two cars - one red and one blue.

Both cars or both of the cars means the red one and the blue one.

Either car or either of the cars means one car, and it doesn't matter if it is the red one or the blue one.

Neither car or neither of the cars means not the red one and not the blue one.

 

I hope that clarifies it for you.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

sorry but it's still not clear to me ..
let me say how I understood that and please tell me if it was right or not ..
we use "either" when the sentence is positive ..
i.e. A: which car do you prefer , the blue or the red one?
B : it doesn't matter , either the blue or the red one is ok .
and we use neither for negative sentence ..
i.e. A: which car do you prefer , the blue or the red one?
B : I don't like neither the blue or the red one .
one more thing , please can you tell me more examples and when do we use these two words ; I mean in which cases do we use them ?
lots of thanks :)

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