Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Quantifiers in English can be tricky.

They change if the noun is plural or singular.

This is especially confusing for collective nouns!

In today’s episode, Lindsay and Aubrey share how to keep quantifiers straight.

Stuff to do

Lindsay asks Aubrey if she has ever had a lack of items on her To-Do list.

Aubrey always has a surplus of stuff to do.

Lindsay shares that she can relate and it’s been a while since she had a lack of items on her To-Do list.

Today’s episode is a follow up to episode BE 213: How to 80/20 Countable and Uncountable Nouns in English.

In that episode, they explained the grammar rules using countable and uncountable nouns.

Today they started by using the quantifiers ‘lack’ and ‘surplus’ which are used for countable nouns.

What are quantifiers

Quantifiers are words that express a quantity.

  • many
  • much
  • plethora
  • multitude

These are specific to either countable or uncountable nouns.

Today Aubrey and Lindsay will help you understand how to use them.

#1: Quantifiers for countable nouns

These quantifiers are used for items that can be counted.

  • (not) many


Many team members agreed with the decision.

  • a number of


A number of graphs were shown during the meeting.

  • a multitude of


Her assistant asked for a multitude of forms.

  • A plethora of


We want to provide a plethora of opportunities for continuing education.

#2: Quantifiers for uncountable nouns

These quantifiers are only used for nouns that you can’t count like.

For example, water, information and research.

  • (not) much


Much research was provided to back up the decision.

  • an amount of


The speakers provided a large amount of information at the conference.

  • a quantity of


A large quantity of knowledge is held by this team so let’s work together to come up with a solution.

  • a deal of (a great deal of/a good deal of)


I felt a great deal of anticipation before the event.


Here is a quick roleplay from Aubrey and Lindsay.

They use the quantifiers they’ve shared in today’s episode in a conversation.

This will help paint a picture about how to use them in your own discussions.

In this scenario, Aubrey and Lindsay are coworkers discussing an internal audit.

Aubrey: The accountant asked for a multitude of documents.
Lindsay: It’s quite the list! We’re going to need a plethora of individuals to compile it all.
Aubrey: I know there was a great deal of foreboding about this audit and now I can see why!
Lindsay: This happened last year, too. They always need a number of forms.


The quantifier you use will be different depending on whether the noun is countable or uncountable.

Though it’s good to be aware of this English grammar point, don’t let it interfere with your connections.

The goal of All Ears English is Connection not Perfection.™

Practice all the new vocabulary and grammar rules you have learned.

Continuous and conscious use of the English language will help you improve every day.

What other quantifiers do you use?

Share one in the comments below.

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