Quantifiers with countable and uncountable nouns

Adjectives and adjectival phrases that describe quantity are shown below. Some can only go with countable nouns (friends, cups, people), and some can only go with uncountable nouns (sugar, tea, money, advice). The words in the middle column can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

Only with
uncountable nouns
With uncountable
and countable nouns
Only with
countable nouns
How much?How much? or How many?How many?
a littleno/nonea few
a bit (of)not anya number (of)
some (any)several
a great deal ofa lot ofa large number of
a large amount ofplenty ofa great number of
lots of
+ noun

Note: much and many are used in negative and question forms.

Examples

  • How much money have you got?
  • How many cigarettes have you smoked?
  • There’s not much sugar in the cupboard.
  • There weren’t many people at the concert.

They are also used with too, (not) so, and (not) as :There were too many people at the concert – we couldn’t see the band.
It’s a problem when there are so many people.
There’s not so much work to do this week.

In positive statements, we use a lot of:

Examples

  • I’ve got a lot of work this week.
  • There were a lot of people at the concert.

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