Quantifiers + Single Countable Nouns
Examples of quantifiers used here with single countable nouns include a, an, each, either, every, neither, and one.
Examples of quantifiers used here with single countable nouns include a, an, each, either, neither, and one.
- A rubber duck is floating in the bath..
- An evil monster like him has no friends.
- He had a tattoo of a dragon breathing fire on each arm.
- We can follow either path to the tribal village.
- Every child received a lollipop.
- Neither pineapple is juicy enough for me.
- One page is missing from my cookery book.
Quantifiers + Plural Countable Nouns
Quantifiers used with plural countable nouns are both, many, several, and two.
- Both donkeys are braying at the same time.
- I think he is putting too many eggs in one basket.
- Someone stole several piglets from his farm.
- We baited the two mousetraps with cheese.
Few and a few
Few and a few come before plural countable nouns. Few (without a) conveys a negative meaning of only a small number or hardly any and not enough; a few has a positive meaning of having some but enough.
- Grandmother gave me a few apples while one will do. (= Not many but enough or in this case, more than enough.)
- There are few dentist clinics in this big town.
- Few passers-by stopped to look at my paintings. (= Almost no passers-by were interested.)
Quantity word + of: Countable Nouns
The quantity word + of are used when there are specific countable nouns or noun phrases. If they are general ones, the quantity word + of are not used. The quantity word + of terms used here are a couple of, a great number of, a large number of, a number of, either of, and most of.
- A couple of people at the next table began to talk louder and louder after the third round of drinks.
- They looked helplessly as a great number of locusts swarmed the area.
- Illegal loggers came again to cut down a large number of trees. .
- A number of her friends agreed with her that she looked overweight.
- We will use either of the parents’ cars for the trip.
- Most of the shops in the area are not selling what you want..
The number of and a number of
The word number is singular. But when it is followed by of (number + of), it can be the number of or a number of. The difference between these two quantifier expressions is that the number of is followed by a singular verb while a number of is followed by a plural verb. The reason is the number of is not used to mean many; It is just a collective term of many, while a number of is used to mean many.
- The number of tourists who visit this resort at the weekends is in the hundreds.
- A number of tourists have been robbed over the weekends.
- No: There is a number of books on palmistry in the library..
- Yes: There are a number of books on palmistry in the library.
Cardinal number and Ordinal number
A cardinal number is used to show the quantity of people or things. It is used as a determiner.
- Twenty people were badly hurt in an accident involving a motorcycle, a car, a bus and a lorry.
- The thirty-two children form an orderly queue.
- We counted forty-six pigs in the farm.
- The car-park can accommodate up to sixty-five cars.
An ordinal number is a number such as first, second, thirtieth, twenty-third, or 200th that shows the numerical position of someone or something in a list. An ordinal number is used as a determiner.
- We occupied the third row from the front.
- We are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary this year.
- I was the twelfth person in the queue when I joined it.
- She received a special gift for being the thousandth customer in the new supermarket.