Unit 3.2

Quantitative Determiners


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Introduction

Determiners are modifiers of nouns. They can provide information about which and how many/much people, things… we are talking about.

Quantitative determiners or quantifiers are used to indicate the quantity of something.

Form

Quantitative determiners come before a noun to indicate its amount or quantity.

The main quantitative determiners are:

  • with countable nouns: (a) few, both and many
  • with uncountable nouns: (a) little, some and much

Example

  • Were there only a few people at work?
  • There are shops on both sides of the street.
  • So many people visit London during winter.
  • How little sugar is left?
  • Some people like football and basketball.
  • We do not have much time.

Use

We use quantitative determiners with countable and uncountable nouns to indicate the quantity of something.

Countable nouns

  • (Afew = little amount of something;
  • Both = one and the other of a pair of things;
  • Many = big amount of separated objects.

Uncountable nouns

  • (Alittle = small amount of something;
  • Some = undefined but considerable amount of something.
  • Much = big amount of a mass;

Summary

Quantitative determiners are used to indicate the amount or quantity of something. We use different quantitative determiners with countable and uncountable nouns:

  • with countable nouns we can use the determiners (a) few, both and many
  • with uncountable nouns, we can use the determiners (a) little, some and much

For example:
— Countable: “Can you buy a few coffees at the bar?” = Coffees refers to cups of coffee.
— Uncountable: “Can you buy some coffee at the supermarket?” = Coffee refers to coffee in powder.

Coffee can be both countable and uncountable, with a difference in meaning.

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

Exercises

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