Much, many, a lot of, lots of etc

September 27, 2013pdf

We can use numbers with countable nouns. For example, we can say two girls and six eggs.

Many and much

Sometimes it is not possible or necessary to give an exact number like this. Then we use a quantifier like many.

  • There were many children in the park. (We don’t know the exact number of children.)
  • There are many mangoes on the tree.
  • She has many friends.

We cannot use numbers with uncountable nouns. For example, we can’t say two water or three honey.

However, we can give an idea of amount or quantity by using the word much with uncountable nouns. Note that much is mainly used in questions and negative sentences.

  • How much money do you have?
  • There isn’t much food left.
  • There isn’t much space in this room.

Some

Some can be used with countable and uncountable nouns.

  • I have bought some eggs. (Here we use some with the countable noun eggs.)
  • There is some water in the bottle. (Here we use some with the uncountable noun water.)

Some is mainly used in affirmative sentences. In negative sentences, we use any.

  • Is there any water in the bottle?

A lot of / lots of

A lot of / lots of can also be used with both countable and uncountable nouns. Note that there is hardly any difference between a lot of and lots of. A lot of and lots of are mainly used in affirmative sentences. In questions and negatives we express the same idea using much and many.

  • I have watched lots of English films.
  • I haven’t watched many English films. (More natural than ‘I haven’t watched lots of English films.’)
  • She has been giving me a lot of trouble. (Here we use a lot of with the uncountable noun trouble.)
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