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.
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.
- Both of them are going on holiday.
- Not many people visit London every winter.
- Were there only a few people at work?
- Some people like football and basketball.
- We do not have much time.
- How little sugar is left?
Countable and uncountable nouns take different quantitative determiners which indicate the quantity of something.
- Both = One and the other of a pair of things;
- Many = Big amount of separated objects;
- (A) few = Little amount of something.
- 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]
Quantitative determiners are used to indicate the quantity of something. 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.
— Countable: “Can you buy a few coffees at the bar?” (= cups of coffee).
— Uncountable: “Can you buy some coffee at the supermarket?” (= 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.