Let’s talk about expressions of quantity in English, something that we also have in Portuguese
An expression of quantity tells the amount of something, just that. In English we have a number of expressions dealing with this task. Some of them are used with countable quantities and some of them with uncountable quantities.
Countable quantities are nouns which we count them like one car, two cars, three cars or house, pen, coin etc. Uncountable quantities are the ones we can’t count like butter, money, air etc. It is the same in Portuguese.
There are many expressions of quantity in English and we will discuss just some of them now.
Much: used with uncountable nouns in affirmative and negative expressions.
How much: used with uncountable nouns in questions.
- How much homework do we get?
- How much money do I need?
- How much milk do you want?
- Is there much sugar in my tea?
Many: used with countable nouns in negative and questions.
How many: used with countable nouns in questions.
- How many sisters does he have?
- How many pupils are in this class?
- How many books do you buy?
- How many cows live on this farm?
A few / few
A few / few: used with countable nouns in affirmative and negative expressions.
- There are just a few examples.
- I meet a few friends
- I see a few hundred pupils.
- I’ve got few brothers.
A little / little
A little: used with uncountable nouns in affirmative and negative expressions.
- There is little tea left.
- Not a lot, only a little, please.
- I’ve got little money.
Check your expertise doing the following exercises:
The following table presents a resume of the quantity expressions:
Beijo do pai!