quantifiers

 

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
 

 
Decide if sentences are correct or incorrect
Choose the correct quantifier

 

Comments

thank you so much and i also want to know that asking doubts in this way is ok or am i rude according to english language....

Hello archijais,

You are welcome to ask questions about the site and its content. We are a small team with lots of work and many, many users, so if you post a lot of questions, it may take us some time to reply, but we will do our best to help you as long as the questions are related to the site.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hello....
I would like to know why the sentence 3 in task 1 is incorrect.
The president shook hands with each players.
and how do we know which quantifier is correct in sentence 4 of task 2.
.................... that dog goes or I do!
either or neither
please explain me...

Hello archijais,

As you can see in the explanation above, 'We use every or each with a singular noun to mean all' - 'each' is only used with singular nouns, so it cannot go with 'players'.

'either' is the correct choice for Task 2 Question 4 because a negative form (such as 'neither') doesn't make sense here. The speaker is saying that they are unwilling to be with the dog - one of them must go.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi.
I'd like to ask about some and any, could i say :Do you need some help?? is it grammatically correct?? thank you.

Hi Sam,

Yes, that is grammatically correct. You can also say 'any' in this sentence. It is sometimes suggested that a request with 'some' indicates that the speaker believes the answer will be 'yes', while a request with 'any' is more tentative. However, I would say that in most contexts both are used largely interchangeably.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

I have some problem with either/neither. For example, which is the correct form:
"No one uses faxes anymore, typewriters either"
or
"No one uses faxes anymore, typewriters neither"?

Thanks
Alex

Hi alex9997,

Neither of these sentences is fully correct, in my opinion. You need to use a conjunction, as follows:

No one uses faxes anymore, or typewriters.

We/People do not use faxes anymore, nor typewriters.

Remember that in these sentences 'nor' is used after a negative verb, not a positive verb.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglishTeam

Hello Rahul Paul,

The explanation above describes the way that many English speakers use the language. Many English speakers use 'less' with count nouns, though traditionally this was incorrect and, as you point out in your Cambridge reference, many still regard it as incorrect. Indeed, it would be difficult to find it in print, but the author of this page was also thinking of what learners might hear English speakers say - and in speech, you can most certainly hear this quite often. So if you prefer to use 'less' only with uncount nouns, that's great, but don't be too surprised if you hear even native speakers use it with count nouns as well.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Pages