Level: beginner

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.

Quantifiers with count and uncount nouns

We can use these quantifiers with both count and uncount nouns:

all some more a lot of enough
no any most lots of less

We have lots of time.
Joe has lots of friends.
I can't go out. I've got no money.
There was a lot of food but no drinks.

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Level: intermediate

These more colloquial forms are also used with both count and uncount nouns:

plenty of heaps of  a load of  loads of  tons of

We have loads of time.
Joe has plenty of friends.
There was heaps of food.

Level: beginner

some and any

We do not normally use the quantifier some in negative and interrogative sentences. We normally use any:

Do you have any children?
Did you see any friends?
We don't have any children.
I didn't see any friends.
We saw some lions at the zoo, but we didn't see any tigers.

but we can use some for offers and requests:

Would you like some tea?
I want some apples, please.

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Quantifiers with count nouns

Some quantifiers can be used only with count nouns:

(not) many each either (a) few
several both neither fewer 

These more colloquial forms are used only with count nouns:

a couple of hundreds of thousands of

I’ll be back in a couple of minutes.
There were hundreds of people at the meeting.

Quantifiers with uncount nouns

Some quantifiers can be used only with uncount nouns:

(not) much a bit of a little

Would you like a little wine?
Could I have a bit of butter, please?

These quantifiers are used particularly with abstract nouns such as time, money and trouble:

a great deal of a good deal of

It will probably cost a great deal of money.
He spent a good deal of time watching television.

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Level: intermediate

Members of groups

We put a noun directly after a quantifier when we are talking about members of a group in general:

Few snakes are dangerous.
Most children like chocolate.
I never have enough money.

but if we are talking about members of a specific group, we use of the as well:

Few of the snakes in this zoo are dangerous.
Most of the boys at my school play football.
He’s spent all (of) the money that we gave him.
Both (of) the chairs in my office are broken.

Note: with all and both, we don’t need to use of. We can say all the … and both the … .

both, either and neither

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.

Both the supermarkets
were closed.

All the supermarkets
were closed.

The supermarket
wasn’t open.

Neither of the supermarkets
was open.

None of the supermarkets
were open.

I don’t think the supermarket
was open.

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

I don’t think any of the supermarkets
were open.

Note that nouns with both have a plural verb but nouns with either and neither have a singular verb.

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every and each

We use the quantifiers every and each with singular nouns 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.

We do not use a determiner with every and each:

Every shop was decorated with flowers. (NOT The every shop)
Each child was given a prize. (NOT The each child)

Comments

hello

would you please help me to clarify?
is this sentence correct?
most boys like football.
thx

Hello talin,

Yes, that sentence is grammatically fine, though it should begin with a capital letter.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sir,

would you please explain subject verb agreement regarding the word 'all'.
Example...
1.all of it depends on you.
2.all of them are interested.
3.all of us are learning English.

is it possible to say that all of them/ all of us/ all of it means they, we and it.

Hello AminulIslam.
In a sense, you can say that 'all of them' is equivalent to 'they', 'all of us' to 'we' and 'all of it' to 'it', but this would omit part of the meaning, which is that when we say 'all of' we are telling the listener that there are no exceptions.
~
In terms of subject-verb agreement, the verb agrees with the noun following 'all of'. Thus, in your examples, the verb after 'all of it' is singular, that after 'all of us' is plural and that after 'all of them' is plural.
~
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

sir your explanation is very good...

would you please explain the use of before and after ?
1.he will come after she goes.
2.He will come after she has gone..

After and before can be used with future perfect?
please mention some examples related to tense .

Thanks a lot.

Hello AminulIslam.
Following 'after' and 'before' we use present forms rather than 'will' (or 'will have') to talk about the future:
>He will come after she goes (not '...after she will go')
~
The choice of present ('goes') or present perfect ('has gone'') is one of emphasis rather than meaning as the time word ('after' or 'before') already fixes the time relationship of the actions. The present perfect merely adds emphasis.
~
References to past time are unchanged:
> He came after she went
~
You can read more about the use of different verb forms in time clauses on this page:
https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar/verbs-time-claus...
~
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
In an either/or sentence in which an independent clause follows both either and or, for example, either I'm going to the hotel(,) or I'm going home, does a comma precede the "or"?

Hello sam61
As I understand it, you should use the comma before 'or' in this case.
All the best
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
I'm rather confused as to whether 'none' is singular or plural...

None of the girls walk/walks to school.

Hello Saffron,

This depends on the context.

If none means 'not one' or 'not a single one', or when it is used with an uncount noun, it has a singular verb.

If none means 'not any (of the group)', it has a plural verb.

 

Thus, in your sentence both forms are possible. If you mean 'not a single girl' then use walks. If you mean 'not any of the girls' then use walk. I would say that the plural verb sounds more natural to me and would be my choice, but grammatically both are possible.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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