Are you often confused between Many and Much? Or Do you feel flummoxed while using Few and Little? If you can relate with these problems, you’re not alone! Many people find this problematic.
Here I’m with few confusing pair of words- Many Vs Much, Some Vs Any, Few, a Few, Little, a Little. You can learn the uses as well as difference between these pair of words. You will also get to know how these words are used in sentence. I hope after reading this, all your ambiguities will be sorted out.
The above mentioned words are known as Quantifiers.
What is a Quantifier?
A quantifier is a word that is used to denote the quantity of an object. It is usually placed before a noun.
There are several quantifiers in English language. All of them have different concepts.
Many and Much are used with large quantities.
Few, A Few, Little, A Little are used to express small quantities.
Some and Any are used when we don’t have any certain idea of quantity.
Some of the quantifiers are used with countable nouns and others are used with uncountable nouns.
Now, let’s discuss the difference between the uses of Many and Much.
Uses of Much and Many
They both are used to refer large amount of something. However, they are used in different concepts.
Many is used in the case of plural countable nouns such as books, dogs, cars, etc.
- A countable noun includes anything which can be counted.
On the other hand, much is used for uncountable nouns such as tea, sugar, water, rice, knowledge, etc.
- Uncountable noun includes things which cannot be counted on numbers. It is used with singular noun.
Many and Much are mainly used in negative and interrogative sentences. With positive statements we use a lot of instead of much/many.
Examples of many and much: –
She doesn’t have so much of knowledge in this field.
Don’t add much sugar in my tea.
There isn’t much time.
How much money did you spend on this dress?
- (Here, much is used with uncountable nouns in negative and interrogative sentence)
There aren’t many trees in this park.
She doesn’t have many books in her bookshelf.
How many siblings do you have?
How many apples are there?
- (Here, many is used with plural countable nouns in negative and interrogative sentence)
What is the difference between Some and Any?
Some and any are when certain quantity is not specified.
They are used in both with uncountable noun and plural countable noun.
Some is generally used in positive sentences. Whereas Any is used in negative and Interrogative sentences.
Examples of some and any:
I have some clothes which we can donate to needy people.
There are some fruits in the basket.
I need some time to complete this task.
- (Here, some is used in positive sentence.)
He doesn’t want any tea.
She doesn’t want any help from others.
Do you have any friend in this class?
Do you have any idea?
- (Here, any is used in negative and interrogative sentence.)
- We can use “some” for offers and requests:
Examples- Would you like to have some tea?
I want some apples, please.
Difference between Few and A Few?
- These are used with plural countable nouns.
- Few means “not many, (people or things), hardly any.
- It has a negative meaning.
Ex- There were only few people in the winter party.
I can’t express my gratitude in few words.
I have only few books in my bookshelf.
- It means ‘some’. It is used to show that you are talking about a small number of people or things.
- A few’ has a positive meaning.
Ex- I have a few suggestions that may help you.
I have a few relatives who live abroad.
Different uses of Little and A Little:
- They are used with uncountable nouns.
Little- It means ‘nearly none, nearly nothing.
- It is used with negative meaning.
Ex- There is little milk left in the refrigerator.
There is little time left to submit the project, so work as quickly as possible.
He can only speak little French which he learnt from his friend.
A little – It means ‘not much, but some’. It is used to denote a small quantity.
- It expresses a positive meaning.
Ex- He had a little money to spend.
Please add a little sugar in tea.
She had a little experience of teaching.
Now, you can see the difference between these pair of words. Look at the table given below for an overall lookout.
|Countable noun||Uncountable noun|
|Few/ A few||–|
|–||Little/ A little|