Quantifiers are difficult to use because words which are uncountable in English might be countable in your native language, and vice versa. Here is a quick list of the most important countable and uncountable nouns.
COUNTABLE (MANY, FEW)
UNCOUNTABLE (MUCH, LITTLE)
time (but NOT ‘times’, as in ‘how many times…’)
Many, few, much, little
Please use ‘many’ and ‘few’ to quantify countable nouns, but use ‘much’ and ‘little’ to quantify uncountable nouns. For example
How much time do you have?
I don’t have many friends. Just a few.
We have very little petrol left. How many miles to the next petrol station?
How much money do you earn?
The following lesson looks at these rules in greater detail
Some and any
Often students will ask questions about ‘some’ and ‘any’. The general rule is that we use ‘some’ in positive sentences, but we use ‘any’ in negatives and questions. However, the grammatical rules of countability are never this simple. The following lesson explains how ‘some’ can be used in questions (for offers and requests), and ‘any’ can be used in positive sentences (if we mean ‘it doesn’t matter which one’). Please watch the lesson for more details
For those students who want to pass the FCE exam (this is a challenging exam from Cambridge), it’s necessary to know the topic of ‘countability’ to a more detailed level. So, in this last class we look at some of the more difficult parts of this topic. Please pay attention because there is a quiz which I would like you to try once you have finished watching the lesson.
Now answer the questions. Good luck!
If you are taking the FCE exam soon, and would like to try some more lessons aimed at students taking this exam, click on the following links. And please try my lessons on prepositions, collocations and phrasal verbs too. A good knowledge of these is essential for passing FCE with a good mark.
And please add me on skype if you fancy taking online lessons to improve your English.