Expressions of quantity are placed before nouns and express ‘how much’ or ‘how many’ of something exists. Some expressions of quantity are only used with Noncountable (uncountable) nouns, others are only used with Countable (countable) nouns. Some expressions of quantity are used with both Noncountable and Countable nouns. Here are some examples:
Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
some time / friends
all people / all food
lots of things / money
The chart at the bottom of the page provides an overview of the most common expressions of quantity and the nouns (Countable or Noncountable) they proceed. The chart begins with the least amount (0) and ends in the greatest amount (all).
Here are examples sentences of each of these expressions in the order given in the chart. Examples go from the lowest number of amount to the highest number or amount:
Not any – Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
I don’t have any time this week.
She doesn’t have any friends in London.
No – Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
Mary has no money to go away on holiday.
I have no friends in Chicago.
One, two, three, etc. – Countable Nouns Only
Peter has one car.
Both – Countable Nouns Only
Both of my friends live in San Francisco.
A Couple Of – Countable Nouns Only
There are a couple of cats in that house.
A Few / Few – Countable Nouns Only
There are a few students in the classroom.
She has few friends in New York.
A Little / Little – Noncountable Nouns Only
There is a little food left on the table.
There is little time to waste.
Some – Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
I’ve got some extra money saved up in the bank.
She’s got some friends in New Orleans.
Several – Countable Nouns Only
There are several books on that table.
Much – Noncountable Nouns Only
How much time is left?
Many – Countable Nouns Only
There aren’t many days left until Christmas.
A Lot Of / Lots of – Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
We have a lot of rice in the kitchen.
There are a lot of students waiting to take the test.
She has lots of time to get ready.
Jack has lots of friends in Los Angeles.
Plenty Of – Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
There is plenty of help available at the library.
There are plenty of children in need of your help.
A Number Of – Countable Nouns Only
She has a number of business contacts in Los Vegas.
Most – Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
He has the most time of anyone.
She keeps most receipts on her desk.
Each – Countable Nouns Only
Each student must come to class on time.
Every – Countable Nouns Only
Every day is important.
All – Both Countable and Noncountable Nouns
She keeps all oranges in the refrigerator.
We keep all rice in the cupboard.
Expressions of Quantity
Expression of Quantity Count (C) / Noncount (NC) / Both (B)
not any B
a couple of C
three, four, six, etc. C
a few C
a little NC
a lot of B
lots of B
plenty of B
a number of C