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What are Quantifiers?

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After a long time you meet your friend in the market. Since both of you have bumped into each other while shopping, you start to tell what all you have purchased and the best places to buy them. Quite often when we discuss something we end up expressing the quantity in terms of much, many, lot, little, etc. In English, we call such terms as quantifiers.

quantifiers

A quantifier is a determiner or pronoun indicative of quantity. It indicates the number or amount being referred to and generally comes before the noun. Little, some, many and a few are examples of quantifiers. They state quantity or amount of something without stating the actual number.

There are three types of quantifiers:


1. Countable nouns

Countable nouns answer the question of how many i.e. if you say, I bought apples. The next question will be how many? So these nouns answer the quantity.

For example: a few, a number of, several, a dozen, etc.

Examples:

- A number of students performed well in Science practical.
- There were several other people in the train.
- Many of them were unaware of the situation.

quantifier


2. Uncountable nouns

Uncountable nouns answer the question of how much i.e., I have a very little sugar left in the jar.

For example: a little, a bit of, much, a large amount of, a large quantity, etc.

Examples:

- A large amount of milk was adulterated.
- How much money do you have?
- A bit of chicken is still left in his plate.

3. Both

Likewise, the nouns that answer how much and how many fall under this type.

For example: all, enough, more, less, no/none, any, some, etc.

Examples:

- Out of all students, only some could pass the test.
- None of them attended the party.
- There was not enough memory in my phone.

Comparative quantifiers

The comparative quantifiers show you the comparative form of much, many, few, little, etc.

A few is more in quantity when compared to few and in a same way, a little is more in quantity than  little.

Take a quick quiz and check how far you have understood quantifiers:

1. We are going to be late. There is too ______   traffic. (much/many)
2. ______ of the voters actually support the military system the way it is now. (Few / A few)
3. Can you bring soda to the picnic? I don't have ______ (some / any).

Answers.

1. Much
2. Few
3. Any

With the above explanation and exercise you must have understood the concept of quantifiers. A Spoken English course will help you develop an in-depth understanding of English and grammar.

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-By Shailja Varma

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