Quantifier: some and any, much and many,…

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Some and any

Some

Any

Similarities

  •  used when we don’t know the amount
  •  used with both countable and uncountable nouns
  • Please give me some apples.
  • I don’t have any free paper to share.

Differences

  • Used in positive sentences
  • She’s earned some money by working as a waitress.
  • Used in questions when offering/ requesting
  • Would you like some coffee?
  • Used in negative sentences and questions
  • She doesn’t eat any fish. She hates fish.
  • Is there any milk in the fridge?

Much and many

Much

Many

Similarities

  •  Used to show an amount of something
  •  Used with a noun or without a noun
  •  Used in all positive, negative sentences and questions
  • She has many stories to tell us.
  • There are not enough bananas left. Don’t take so many.
  • How many people are there in your family?
  • Drinking too much alcohol will harm your health.
  • How much does it cost?

Differences

  • Used with singular uncountable nouns
  • I don’t have much money.
  • You should drink much water.
  • Hurry up! We don’t have much time left.
  • Used with plural (countable) nouns
  • Many journalists are here today.
  • There are many rules we have to follow in class.
  • I need to buy many things to prepare for the birthday party.

A lot of and lots of

"A lot of" and "lots of" are used similarly.

  • Used in informal styles
  • Used with both plural countable or singular uncountable nouns
  • Used in all positive, negative sentences and questions
  • I bought a lot of/ lots of presents for him.
  • My little hamster eats a lot of/ lots of cheese.
  • Harry didn’t know a lot of/ lots of English words.
  • My baby sister drinks a lot of/ lots of milk every day.
  • Have you answered a lot of/ lots of questions?

Few, a few and little, a little

  • A few, a little mean some.
  • Few, little (without article “a”) mean not as much/ many as expected or not enough. They have negative meanings.
  • Few, a few: used with countable plural nouns.
  • Little, a little: used with uncountable nouns.

Few and a few

Explanation

There are a few people attending the meeting.

  •  Meaning: some, a small number
  •  The noun goes after “a few” is people: countable, plural noun.

There are very few people attending the meeting.

  •  Meaning: not many as expected/ almost none.
  •  The noun goes after “few” is people: countable, plural noun.

Little and a little

Explanation

The kids pay a little attention to the lessons.

  • Meaning: some, a small amount
  •  The noun goes after “a little” is attention: uncountable noun.

The kids pay very little attention to the lessons.

  •  Meaning: not much/ almost none
  •  The noun goes after “little” is attention: uncountable noun.

More examples

  • He has a few friends. He’s not a sociable person.
  • He has few friends. He’s a lonely person.
  • I have a little money. I can buy a small toy with this amount.
  • I have little money. It isn’t enough to buy anything.

 

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