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Expressions of quantity

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Expressions of quantity tell us how many or how much of something there is.

Compare these two sentences:

We get a little rain in spring.
Many people live in London.

We use a little with non-countable nouns like rain, snow, pollution etc. We cannot use a little with countable nouns.

We use many with countable nouns like people, cars, chairs etc. We cannot use many with countable nouns.

Today we look at some expressions of quantity that are used with both countable and non-countable nouns.

This list starts with the least amount and ends with the most.

Countable and Non-coutable Expressions of Quantity

Not any
Countable: There are not any biscuits left.
Non-countable: There is not any water in the sink.

Countable: There are no animals in the park.
Non-countable: There is no money in my purse.

Countable: Some children play here on the weekend.
Non-countable: There is some smoke coming from that house.

A lot of
Countable: She has a lot of dogs.
Non-countable: There’s a lot of traffic today.

Lots of
Countable: Lots of women work here.
Non-countable: She made us lots of coffee.

Plenty of
Countable: There are plenty of bottles in the fridge.
Non-countable: There is plenty of information in report.

Countable: She keeps most of her books in the shelf.
Non-countable: We spent the most time on the project.

Countable: Who ate all the apples?
Non-countable: Jennifer is the one with all the experience.

  • 1) There are a lot ___ people here.

  • 2) There were ___ any bikes in the shop.

  • 3) ___ of people come hiking here.

  • 4) Some ___ are in the garden.

  • 5) ___ of birds drink from our birdbath.