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.

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:

Hello manuel24,

As you suggest, 'fewer' is really the correct quantifier here (and not 'less', which is for uncount nouns). Many native speakers, however, often use 'less' where they should use 'fewer', so I wouldn't be surprised if you've seen or heard it somewhere.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you Kirk!

Good evening ,
In second sentence of the task " He has * time to play with his children" why the correct answer is the "little " and not the "few" ?

Thank you

Hello Irene93,

In this context 'time' is an uncountable noun and so we use 'little' and not 'few'.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi, sir
please tell me which sentence is right.

1. either you speak English or leave from here. it depends on you ()
2. you either speak English or leave from here. it depends on you.()

Hi Afia shakir khan,

Both of these are possible and there is no real difference in meaning. However, we would not use 'from' in this way - 'leave here' is the correct form.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello!
In the text it's said that when we are talking about members of groups in general, we can use a quantifier before of a noun. Instead, when we are talking about specific members of groups we have to use "of the" between the quantifier and the noun.
In the example written above, "Both brothers work with their father", aren't we talking about a specific pair of brothers? Is it wrong to say "Both of the brothers work with their father?
Same in this other example: "Both the supermarkets were closed". Seems like we are talking about two specific supermakets we visited, so why don't we say "Both of the supermarkets were closed"?

You can say 'both brothers' and 'both the brothers' and also 'both of the brothers' (though this latter form is less common). The explanation you're referring to speaks about quantifiers in general. 'both' is certainly a quantifier and so follows those rules in general, but 'both' also tends to be used in certain ways. I'd suggest you read the Cambridge Dictionary's Grammar section entry on 'both' for a more thorough explanation of how it works (with examples). I think that should clear up the matter for you, but if not, please don't hesitate to ask us again here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

dear sir
instead I write: "he is studying either physics or biology", is it correct if I write: " he is studying both physics and biology" ?
instead I write: " I don't like either tea or coffee" is it correct if I write: " I don't like both tea and coffee"?
thank you

Hello lisa Tran,

The sentence

he is studying either physics or biology

means that he is studying physics or he is studying biology, but not both. We do not know which of these two he is studying, but it is one of them.

The sentence

he is studying both physics and biology

means he is studying two subjects: physics and biology.

In these sentences 'either' means 'one and not the other' and 'both' means 'one and the other as well'.

If you want to say that coffee is not good and tea is not good then neither of these sentences are very natural. Better alternatives would be:

I don't like tea or coffee

I like neither tea nor coffee.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team