Quantifiers


Quantifiers are types of English determiners that tell us the number of nouns.

Quantifiers "quantify" the noun. They tell us how much or how many.

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A quantifier always comes before a noun and modifies the noun.

To understand the rules for using quantifiers, you must first understandapples countable and uncountable nouns.

Countable nouns are things that can actually be counted.
  • 1 foot
  • thirteen apples
  • 2 dogs
  • twenty-five children



Uncountable nouns are things that cannot be counted or made plural. They are usually substances, emotions, and ideas.
  • water
  • sugar
  • sadness
  • grammar

Using Quantifiers

Some quantifiers can only be used with singular or plural countable nouns.

Some quantifiers can only be used with uncountable nouns.

Some quantifiers can be used with countable and uncountable nouns.

Here is a chart showing some common quantifiers and their uses.

Quantifier Used with singular countable nouns? Example Used with plural countable nouns? Example Used with uncountable nouns? Example
a lot of

lots of
No Yes a lot of dogs Yes a lot of sugar
all No Yes all dogs Yes all the sugar
any Yes any dog Yes any dogs Yes any sugar
both No Yes both dogs No
enough No Yes enough dogs Yes enough sugar
every Yes every dog No No
few/a few/fewer No Yes few dogs No
less No Yes less dogs Yes less sugar
little/a little No No Yes a little sugar
many No Yes many dogs No
most No Yes most dogs Yes most sugar
much No No Yes much sugar
noYesno dogyesno dogsYesno sugar
none ofNoYesnone of the dogsYesnone of the sugar
several No Yes several dogs No
some No Yes some dogs Yes some sugar


A) Quantifiers can be placed right before a noun

Examples:
  • The zoo has a few giraffes.

  • No animals are allowed in my house!

  • I like some sugar in my tea.

  • None of the teachers were there.

  • Every student should arrive on time.

kids at school

B) Quantifiers can be placed in a noun phrase before adjectives and the noun

Examples:
  • Mrs. Smith has enough blue paper for everyone.

  • A lot of small, brown mice live under the wood pile.

  • Do you have any spicy green peppers?

  • Both beautiful blonde girls are hers.

  • We have enjoyed every single moment with you!

  • Bob is surrounded by several funny pink flamingos.

flamingos

D) We sometimes use two quantifiers together

These quantifiers are sometimes used together:

Examples:
  • Do you have a few more eggs for my recipe?

  • The baby wakes up every few hours at night.

  • Please read that part with a little more expression.

  • Put a little less sugar in my cup of tea.
   tea and sugar

E) Sometimes quantifiers are used as pronouns


A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun.

We may use quantifiers in place of nouns when the noun has already been identified.

(The bold sentences use quantifiers as pronouns.)

Examples:

flamingos

  • Tom is surrounded by flamingoes. 

    All
    are pink.

    None are blue.

    Half are in his front yard.




kids at school

  • Students should arrive on time.

    Some were late today.

    Many were early.

    A few stayed home.



These were the rules and uses of Quantifiers. Now that you know them, it is time to practice! Get our ESL Books.

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