English Grammar

Expressions of quantity in English with examples

Expressions of quantity

The expressions of quantity in English a lot of, much, many, are grammatically called quantifiers , (quantifiers). These words indicate the indeterminate amount of the noun or noun in the sentence and answer the question “how many?” Expressions of quantity in English

There are several types of quantifiers, we will use one or the other depending on the type of noun (if it is countable or countable) and the amount involved (if it is greater or less). In this lesson we will learn how to use the quantifiers: a lot of, much, many .

Countable and uncountable names

Quantifiers can be used with countable or uncountable names. Sometimes it can be with both types, but in others only with one of them. So to use quantity expressions correctly, we must have a good understanding of what countable nouns and uncountable nouns are .

  • Accountants: As their name indicates, they can be counted and have a singular and a plural form . For example, we can say: cat / cats, chair / chairs, table / tables.
  • Uncountable: They are those that cannot be counted or measured and lack plural . For example. Air, water, money.

Where do the expressions of quantity in English go in the sentence: a lot of, much, many?

Quantity expressions are words that define the noun or name, similar to how articles do. Therefore, in the sentence they will always be located before the name or noun .


  • You have lot of money .
  • He doesn’t have much time .
  • There aren´t many students .

A lot of

We use “a lot of” to speak of a large number of countable names or a large number of uncountable names . Its use is common in affirmative expressions. It translates into Spanish: a lot or a lot / many or many. It can also be said “lots of” but it is a more informal phrase.


  • Mary has got a lot of flowers in her garden.
  • There are a lot of book in the library.
  • You have a lot of
  • He has a lot of

In informal situations, we can use “lots of”:

  • There are going to be lots of people in the town tonight.
  • Do not worry, you have got lots of


We use “much” when we speak of uncountable names in great quantity and their translation is “a lot or a lot”. Also, it is used for negative sentences and when asking questions.

It is possible to use “much” in affirmative sentences when the word “too” is first, which is translated too much or stagnant. The same thing happens with the word “so” which in this case would be translated a lot / a lot, so much / so much.


  • They don´t need much
  • She doesn’t have much time left.
  • How much time does he have for breakfast?


With the quantifier “many” we express a large number of countable nouns in the plural . It is used in negative and question sentences. Sometimes it is used for affirmative sentences but in colloquial language.


  • Does she have many cats?
  • There aren´t many .
  • Are there many pictures on the wall?

You can also use “many” in affirmative sentences that have the word “too” (too many) or the word “so” (many many)

Much of, many of

When we use “much” or “many” before articles (the, a / an), demonstratives (this, that), possessives (my, you) or pronouns (him, them), we must place the word “of”:

  • How much of this movie is fiction and how much is fact? (How much of this movie is fiction and how much is reality?)
  • Jean, the painter, spent much of his life in Paris.
  • Sadly, not many of the writers were there.
  • How many of them are students?

This much, that much

When we speak face to face, we can use “this much” and “that much” accompanied by a hand gesture indicating quantity. So when the speaker indicates a small amount with his fingers, he can say:

  • I only took that much ice cream.

Much, many, a lot, lots: Without a noun or noun

If the noun is too obvious, then we don’t put it after the quantity expressions a lot of, much, many.


  • Would you like some chocolate? Yes, but not too much .
  • Can you pass me some magazines?  How many ?
  • How many students came?  A lot

Summary of quantity expressions in English: a lot of, much, many

Here’s what to remember about a lot of, much, many quantifiers:

  • They are used to express an indeterminate number or quantity of the name or noun.
  • In the sentence they are placed before the noun or noun .
  • They answer the question how much?
  • All three express a large number or a large quantity , as the case may be.
  • The quantifier “a lot of” can be used for countable and uncountable names . Usually for affirmative sentences.
  • On the other hand, ” much ” is used for uncountable names . In negative, interrogative and sometimes affirmative sentences with “too” or “so”.
  • Finally, ” many ” is the quantifier for countable names . It is used for negative, interrogative and sometimes affirmative sentences with “too” or “so”. Expressions of quantity in English

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button