Guide to Expressions of Quantity

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Expressions of quantity are placed before nouns and express 'how much' or 'how many' of something exists. Some expressions of quantity are only used with non-count (uncountable) nouns, others are only used with count (countable) nouns. Some expressions of quantity are used with both noncount and count nouns. Here are some examples:

Count Nouns

both friends
several people
many trees

Both Count and Noncount Nouns

some time/friends
all people / all food
lots of things/money

The chart at the bottom of the page provides an overview of the most common expressions of quantity and the nouns (count or non-count) they proceed. The chart begins with the least amount (0) and ends in the greatest amount (all).

Here are examples sentences of each of these expressions in the order given in the chart. Examples go from the lowest number of the amount to the highest number or amount:

Not any - Both Count and Noncount Nouns

I don't have any time this week.
She doesn't have any friends in London.

No - Both Count and Noncount Nouns

Mary has no money to go away on holiday.
I have no friends in Chicago.

One, two, three, etc. - Count Nouns Only

Peter has one car.

Both - Count Nouns Only

Both of my friends live in San Francisco.

A Couple Of - Count Nouns Only

There are a couple of cats in that house.

A Few / Few - Count Nouns Only

There are a few students in the classroom.

She has few friends in New York.

A Little / Little - Noncount Nouns Only

There is a little food left on the table.
There is little time to waste.

Some - Both Count and Noncount Nouns

I've got some extra money saved up in the bank.
She's got some friends in New Orleans.

Several - Count Nouns Only

There are several books on that table.

Much - Noncount Nouns Only

How much time is left?

Many - Count Nouns Only

There aren't many days left until Christmas.

A Lot Of / Lots of - Both Count and Noncount Nouns

We have a lot of rice in the kitchen.
There are a lot of students waiting to take the test.
She has lots of time to get ready.
Jack has lots of friends in Los Angeles.

Plenty Of - Both Count and Noncount Nouns

There is plenty of help available at the library.
There are plenty of children in need of your help.

A Number Of - Count Nouns Only

She has a number of business contacts in Los Vegas.

Most - Both Count and Noncount Nouns

He has the most time of anyone.
She keeps most receipts on her desk.

Each - Count Nouns Only

Each student must come to class on time.

Every - Count Nouns Only

Every day is important.

All - Both Count and Noncount Nouns

She keeps all oranges in the refrigerator.
We keep all rice in the cupboard.

For help understanding which nouns are count and noncount take a look at this countable and uncountable noun guide.

To test your knowledge take this grammar quizzes focusing on count, noncount nouns and expressions of quantity.

Quiz 1
Quiz 2

Expressions of Quantity

Expression of QuantityCount (C) / Noncount (NC) / Both (B)
not anyB
a couple ofC
three, four, six, etc.C
a fewC
a littleNC
a lot ofB
lots ofB
plenty ofB
a number ofC