Quantifiers

What is a quantifier in grammar?

  • Quantifiers are Adjectives and adjectival phrases that make up an important part of English Grammar.
  • Quantifiers are determiners that describe quantity in a noun phrase. They answer the question “How many?” or “How much?” on a scale from none (0%) to all (100%).
  • We use some quantifiers only with countable nouns. We use some other quantifiers only with uncountable nouns. And we use some with countable or uncountable nouns.

The most common Quantifiers are :

  1. much and many, (a) little, (a) few, a lot
  2. Some, any, not any, no, none
  3. Compound with SOME, ANY and NO
  4. ANY with the Affirmative
  5. GRADED QUANTIFIERS
  6. A little /little, A few / few
  7. ENOUGH + NOUN
  8. Other quantifiers

Much and many, (a) little, (a) few, a lot

we use: 

  • a few, few, many, a lot of with countable nouns
  • a little, little, much, a lot of with uncountable nouns
  • a lot of with both countable and uncountable nouns
  • much and many are used with the negative and interrogative forms
  • a lot of / lots of is used in the affirmative form

Examples:

1. She doesn’t spend much time with her children.
2. I have a few eggs. I have a little money.
3. How many cigarettes have you smoked?
4. I’ve got a lot of work this week.
5. There were a lot of people at the concert.
6. I have a little money.

Some, any, not any, no, none

SOME and ANY are used with both countable and uncountable nouns to specify a part or number of a substance or object.


Some are commonly used in an affirmative sentence, but can also be used in interrogative or hypothetical sentences if the existence of the substance isn’t in query, as when we offer liquids or meals.

Examples: 

  1. Get me some sugar, please.
  2. Would you like me to buy you some fruit juice?
  3. Would you like some help?
  4. She has some valuable books in her house.
  5. Did he give you some tea?


ANY is generally used in negative or interrogative sentences. Instead of “not any” the adjective “no” can be used, and the form “none” as a pronoun.

Example: 

  1. No, thank you. I don’t want any more cake.
  2. I don’t think we’ve got any coffee left.
  3. Have they got any children?
  4. They don’t want any help moving to their new house.

Compound with SOME, ANY, and NO

  • Compound nouns with some- and any- are used in the same way as some and any.
  • Words formed with NO (nothing, nobody, no one, nowhere) are used in sentences to give a strong negative sense to the sentence.
Affirmativeinterrogativenegative
+bodysomebodyanybodynot … anybodyNobody
+onesomeoneanyonenot … anyoneno one
+thingsomethinganythingnot … anythingNothing
+wheresomewhereanywherenot … anywhereNowhere


Compound nouns with some- and any- Positive statements:

  1. Someone is sleeping in my bed.
  2. I left my glasses somewhere in the house.
  3. Susie has somebody staying with her.

Questions : 

  1. Is there anything to eat?
  2. Did you go anywhere last night?
  3. Have you lost something?

Negative statements:

  1. I don’t know anybody.
  2. She didn’t go anywhere last night.
  3.  She doesn’t want anything.

There is a difference in emphasis between nothingnobody etc. and not … anythingnot … anybody:

  1. I don’t know anything about it. = I know nothing about it.
  2. I don’t know anybody. = I know nobody.

SOMETHING, SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE

Examples:

  1. Someone is sleeping in my bed.
  2. I left my glasses somewhere in the house.
  3. Have you lost something
  4. He knows somebody in New York.

ANYBODY, ANYTHING, ANYWHERE

Examples:

  1. Is there anything to eat?
  2. He doesn’t have anywhere to stay tonight.
  3. Is there anybody who speaks English here?

NOBODY, NOTHING, NOWHERE

Examples: 

  1. There is nothing to eat.
  2. Homeless people have nowhere to go at night.
  3. When I arrived there was nobody to meet me.
  4. I have learned nothing since I began the course.

ANY with the Affirmative

  • Any and its compound words are used in the affirmative to mean a possible CHOICE from a range of possibilities.
  • ANY can also be used in positive statements to mean ‘no matter which‘, ‘no matter who‘, ‘no matter what‘:
anyanybody
anyone
anythinganywhere

Examples:

  1. They can choose anything from the menu.
  2. You may invite anybody to dinner, I don’t mind.
  3. I refused to give them any money.

GRADED QUANTIFIERS

They function like comparatives and hold a relative position on a scale of increase or decrease.

INCREASE From 0% to 100%

With plural countable nouns:
Manymoremost
With uncountable nouns:
Muchmoremost

DECREASE From 100% to 0%

With plural countable nouns:
Fewfewerfewest
With uncountable nouns:
Littlelessleast

Examples:

  1. I know many foreigners. → I know more foreigners than som  does. → Jackie knows the most foreigners compared to us all.
  2. Do you have much cash on you? → You need more cash to buy this dessert. → You are the one among us to have the most cash on you.
  3. I know few French artists. → You know fewer French artists that me. → What is the French city to have produced the fewest artists?
  4. Sumit has little money to fly to Australia. → Being a student, Sumit has less money than his parents. → Sumit is the person to have the least money in the family.

A little /little, A few / few

A few and a little have a different meaning than few and little, since “a few”, “a little” have a positive meaning, whereas “few” and “little” have a negative meaning.

Examples:

  1. I have a few friends. –> I have SOME friends.
  2.  I have a little money. –> I have SOME money.
  3.  I have few friends. –> I do not have MANY friends.
  4. I have little money. –> I do not have MUCH money.

ENOUGH + NOUN

  • Enough is placed before the noun, but when it is used with adjectives and adverbs it goes after them.

Example:

  1. I will not have enough time until Tuesday.
  2. Are there enough eggs to make an omelette?
  3. There is enough bread for lunch.
  4. Are there enough chairs for everybody?

Other quantifiers

Half , Double , Both , All 

  • Half = 50%
    –  It’s used with countable and uncountable nouns.
  • Double = the quantity + 100% of that quantity
    – It’s  used with uncountable nouns
  • Both = the two, not only the one (this one AND that one)
    – It’s used with nouns that are plural and countable
  • All = 100%
    – whole amount
    – It’s used with countable and uncountable nouns.

Examples:

  • You can have half of the chocolate.
  • Both were healthy and breathing on their own.
  • All is mortal.
  • There is a double quantity of rice for the hurricane victims.

What are the most common quantifiers in the English language?

1. much and many, (a) little, (a) few, a lot
2. Some, any, not any, no, none
3. Compound with SOME, ANY and NO
4. ANY with the Affirmative
5. GRADED QUANTIFIERS
6. A little /little, A few / few
7. ENOUGH + NOUN
8. Other quantifiers

What is a quantifier in grammar?

– Quantifiers are Adjectives and adjectival phrases that make up an important part of English Grammar.
– Quantifiers are determiners that describe quantity in a noun phrase. They answer the question “How many?” or “How much?” on a scale from none (0%) to all (100%).
– We use some quantifiers only with countable nouns. We use some other quantifiers only with uncountable nouns. And we use some with countable or uncountable nouns.