Quantifiers! The quantifier is a type of determiner which can indicate quantity, or how many. Some examples of these might be all, many or few. These words are very useful to have in your English vocabulary as they will allow you to effectively refer to quantity.
In this section, we are going to be looking at quantifiers and how they are used within the language. This will allow you to gain a greater understanding of their function and become more confident when using them.
What is a Quantifier?
Quantifier definition: A quantifier is a word or number that shows an amount or number.
Examples: one, each, every, a little, much…
- I have a few friends.
- I have a little money.
The quantifier a few is used before friends, which is a countable noun. A little is used before money, an uncountable noun.
Quantifiers are adjectives and adjective phrases that go before nouns. They give information about how much or how many of an item you are talking about. Some quantifiers, like a few, few, many go only before countable nouns. Others, like a little, little, much go only before uncountable nouns. And a few quantifiers can go before countable or uncountable nouns.
How to Use Quantifiers?
Learn how to use quantifiers with countable and uncountable nouns in English with example sentences and ESL pictures.
Quantifiers Used with Countable Nouns (One, Each, Every)
One, each and every are examples of countable noun quantifiers.
- One movie that I enjoy is “The name of the King.”
- Each child had to give a short speech to the rest of the class.
- There are two boys. Each is smiling.
- Every glass in my recent order was chipped.
- The manager wants to speak to every employee in his office.
- They enjoyed every minute of their holidays.
With plural count nouns, just add of the between the quantifier and the noun it describes.
- One of the boys tripped over and crashed into a tree.
- Each of the cars has air conditioning.
- Every one of the students is intelligent.
If you have more than two countable items, you can use several, a few, many and a number of.
- Several villages have been isolated by the heavy snowfall.
- I saw a few prisoners run away from the prison.
- All she wanted was a few moments on her own.
- Many students now see university as a stepping stone to a good job.
- We don’t have many things to do today.
- How many siblings do you have?
- A number of the computers are imported.
Quantifiers Used with Uncountable Nouns (A Little, Much and A Great Deal of)
A little, much and a great deal of are examples of uncountable noun quantifiers.
- Swirl a little oil around the frying pan.
- She saves a little money every month.
- She’s got so much energy she never seems to tire.
- She didn’t have much homework last night.
- A motorcar costs a great deal of money.
Quantifiers Used with both Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Some, most, plenty of, all and any are examples of quantifier that can go with both countable and uncountable nouns
- There is some bread apart from the milk. (uncountable noun)
- We’ve got some oranges. (countable noun)
- Paul has strong opinions on most subjects. (countable noun)
- Don’t worry. We have plenty of time. (uncountable noun)
- Send me an e-mail when you have any news. (uncountable noun)