17 Quantitative Determiners

Determiners

Determiners are modifiers of nouns. They can provide a wide range of information.

Quantitative Determiners or Quantifiers are used to indicate the quantity of something.

Countable and Uncountable Nouns take different Quantitive Determiners. Below you can read the main Quantitative Determiners:

  • Countable Nouns: We use Both, Many and (a) Few;
  • Uncountable Nouns: We use Some, Much and (a) Little.

Countable Nouns:

  • Both of them are going on holiday.
  • Not many people visit London every winter.
  • Were there only a few people at work?

Uncountable Nouns:

  • Some people like football and basketball.
  • We do not have much time.
  • How little sugar is left?

Countable Nouns

  • Both = One and the other of a pair of things;
  • Many = Big amount of separated objects;
  • (A) few = Little amount of something.

Uncountable Nouns

  • Some = Undefined but considerable amount of something;
  • Much = Big amount of a mass;
  • (A) little =  Small amount of something.

[Few vs A few, Little vs A little]

Different Quantitative Determiners are used with different nouns.

  • Countable nouns, which can be counted easily and using numbers, can take the determiners Both, Many and (a) Few;
  • Uncountable nouns, which cannot be counted easily and are considered as a “mass”, can take the following determiners: Some, Much and (a) Little.

For example:
Countable: “Can you buy a few coffees at the bar?” (= some cups of coffee).
Uncountable: “Can you buy some coffee at the supermarket?” (= some coffee in powder).

We can see the difference thanks to the noun “coffee” which can be both countable and uncountable, with a difference in meaning.

NOTE: Quantitative Determiners are not interchangeable (when you can choose either or at any time), Countable and Uncountable use specific determiners and must use them.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.