Other Quantifiers

A lot of/ lots of

  • We have lots of bread in the kitchen.
  • You really have a lot of shoes!
You use a lot of or lots of for uncountable nouns and nouns in the plural.
They both mean the same thing, but "lots of" is more informal.

Much, many

The difference between much and many is very important. They mean the same thing but are used in different situations.
  • Much is used for uncountable nouns.
  • Many is used for countable nouns.
  • This house has many windows.
  • The family has many pets.
  • I have been to England so many times.
  • I haven't had much experience with driving.
  • How much (money) does it cost?
  • How much milk do we need for the cake?

A little, a few

A little and a few work just like much and many. Only, they mean the opposite.
  • A little is used for uncountable nouns.
  • A few is used for countable nouns.
  • Would you like a little sugar for your tea?
  • We have had very little rain this summer.
  • They have only very little water in this area.
  • I know only a few people who speak Japanese.
  • There are a few things I would like you to get for me from the shop.
  • I will visit them for a few days next month.

Each and every

Again, each and every mean more or less the same. In many cases you can use either of them. Nevertheless, in some cases you can use only one of them.
  • I know every person in this room.
  • Each of you can have two cookies.
  • If you use every, you refer to the whole of persons. You regard them as a group.
  • If you say each, you put more emphasis on the individuality of the people.
In some cases, you can really only use each:
We covered a lot of different topics in the lecture. We have to read one book for each. Each can stand on its own, every cannot. Not: We have to read one book for every. BUT We have to read one book for everyone.
I know each of them personally. Each can stand in front of phrases with of. Not: I know every of them personally. BUT I know everyone of them personally.

More quantifiers

  • All children like sweets.
  • He ate all my food.
  • Everybody has a favourite dish.
  • Everything can be interesting, if you only try hard.
  • I met Mrs Brown's two daugthers. Both of them are very pretty.
  • Spain and Italy have good soccer teams. Either of them could win.
  • I do not agree. Neither of them is good.
  • There is no coke left.
  • Can you tell me when the next train arrives? I am afraid there are none.
Now try out the following exercise! Fill in the gaps with the most suitable quantifier. Mind the context!
  1. This is such a crowded place! There are so people!
  2. I do not like it when my coffee is too sweet. I only take very sugar.
  3. I have to get things from the grocery.
  4. Your bedroom is huge! You have so space here!
  5. I like the green and the red shirt. Maybe I will buy of them.
In the second exercise, try to match the sentences on the right with the most suitable quantifiers!
  • a few
  • many
  • a little
  • Every
  • Each
  • much
  • I don't know how it works. I have tried   times.
  • Could I please have   bit of water?
  • The bus stop is right around that corner. Only   minutes by foot.
  • We went to the theatre three times last week and we watched three plays.   of them was great.
  • That is really easy!   child knows that!
  • We had so   fun last night.

Learn more ...