Unit 9.1

# Non-Universal Quantifiers

## Introduction

Quantifiers [cuantificadores] are words that indicate a quantity of the subject or object.

They are classified as universalnon-universal, numeral, non-numeral, and gradational (or degree).

Non-universal quantifiers [cuantificadores no universales] indicate that something is true for all individuals and express quantity, diversity, equality, or quality in the sentence.

## Form

Non-universal quantifiers can be affirmative or negative.

Affirmative quantifiers have the following characteristics:

• they are variable, i.e., they usually agree with the noun in gender and number;
• The quantifier bastante agrees only in number.
 Singular Plural bastante bastantes

## Example

• Queda poca leche en el frigo;
• Hay pocos desayunos nutritivos;
• Sale mucha agua del grifo;
• Vendemos muchos tipos de pan;
• En la tienda hay demasiada cerveza;
• Nunca hay demasiados barriles de vino tinto;
• Tenemos bastante agua para dos días;
• Compramos bastantes bocadillos de lomo.

## Use

Non-universal quantifiers indicate an indeterminate quantity of the noun to which they refer. They can express quantity, diversity, equality, or quality:

• poco/-a/-os/-as is used to express a small amount, quality, or intensity sometimes considered insufficient (opposed to mucho);
• mucho/-a/-os/-as is used to speak of a large, abundant quantity;
• bastante(s) is used to express an indeterminate quantity between algunos (s) and mucho(s) or to have the meaning of suficiente(s);
• demasiado/-a/-os/-as is used to describe an amount that exceeds what is necessary or desirable.

## Summary

In Spanish, quantifiers are words used to emphasise qualities of the noun to which they refer:

• Poco: agree in gender (poca) and number (pocos/pocas) ro refer to a scarce quanttiy;
• Mucho: agree in gender (mucha) and number (muchos/muchas) to refer to a large quantity;
• Bastante: agree only in number (bastantes) and is used for a sufficient quantity.

For example:
— «Me queda poco dinero.» = Poco agrees in gender and number with dinero;
— «Tengo mucha hambre.» = Mucha agrees in gender and number with hambre;
— «Tengo bastantes cosas que hacer.» = Bastantes agrees in number with cosas.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

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