Expressions of quantity


Expressions of quantity tell us how many or how much of something there is.

Compare these two sentences:

We get a little rain in spring.
Many people live in London.

  • We use a little with non-countable nouns like rain, snow, pollution etc. We cannot use a little with countable nouns.
  • We use many with countable nouns like people, cars, chairs etc. We cannot use many with countable nouns.

Countable and Non-countable Expressions of Quantity


Not any
Countable: There are not any biscuits left.
Non-countable: There is not any water in the sink.

Countable: There are no animals in the park.
Non-countable: There is no money in my purse.

Countable: Some children play here on the weekend.
Non-countable: There is some smoke coming from that house.

A lot of
Countable: She has a lot of dogs.
Non-countable: There’s a lot of traffic today.

Lots of
Countable: Lots of women work here.
Non-countable: She made us lots of coffee.

Plenty of
Countable: There are plenty of bottles in the fridge.
Non-countable: There is plenty of information in report.

Countable: She keeps most of her books in the shelf.
Non-countable: We spent the most time on the project.

Countable: Who ate all the apples?
Non-countable: Jennifer is the one with all the experience.

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