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I use these adjectives to show the amount of any entity (Sorted from highest to lowest)

LIQUID/SOLID as applicable:

I need a lot of milk to drink now-a-days. (Highest in quantity)

I need a good amount of milk to drink now-a-days. (Higher than average in quantity)

Or

I need much amount of milk (oranges) to drink (eat) now-a-days. (Higher than average in quantity)

I need a fair amount of milk to drink now-a-days. (Medium quantity applicable for liquid)

Or

I need an average number of oranges to eat now-a-days. (Medium quantity applicable for solid)

I need less amount of milk to drink now-a-days. (Lesser than average in quantity)

I need a little amount of milk to drink now-a-days. (Least in quantity for liquid)

Or

I need a few oranges to eat now-a-days. (Least in quantity for solid)

These usages are entirely made up by none other than myself and I never verified these usages from somebody. I clearly mentioned on what conditions, I use what adjectives. Please suggest me if there are some mistakes in using them; the mistake can be in the very adjective used or the condition on which the adjective is used in different cases. Also if I am lacking some more frequently used adjectives, please mention them.

  • Amount of and number of both take a small, or a large rather than much or less or little. Much, less and little qualify non-count substances (much milk), many and few qualify count substances (many oranges) – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 24 '13 at 16:58
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    As side note, it's nowadays, not now-a-days. – kiamlaluno Sep 24 '13 at 20:57
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    @kiamlaluno +1. I'll add that you may see now-a-days in dictionaries (such as the OED), but it should be considered a historical spelling. It's always spelled nowadays in today's English. – snailcar Sep 24 '13 at 21:19
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    @snailboat I guess it would be like reading to-day; I would not consider it today's English. :) – kiamlaluno Sep 24 '13 at 22:07
  • @kiamlaluno, Thank you, I had really no idea about the change! :-) – Mistu4u Sep 25 '13 at 2:27
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I will reiterate each of your examples in order. In most cases, I am going to give you only the corrected version, not the original:

I need a lot of milk to drink nowadays. (large, not necessarily the largest, quantity; also note the correct spelling of "nowadays")

I need a good (usually: goodly) amount.... (higher than average, acceptably yes)

WRONG: I need much amount (incorrect; do not use)

I need a fair amount of milk.... (medium quantity, acceptably yes)

I need an average number of oranges.... (this would not be a common usage, because it specifically refers to a known number, but it can be used casually to suggest I probably need just about as many as the average person)

I need less milk (not "less amount of milk;" note that this would NOT mean less than average, but less than I used to need)

"A little amount of milk" used in this way is awkward and really not what we say. Various versions of what you mean to say are possible. Here are some examples: "I don't need very much milk." "I need very little milk." "I don't need a lot of milk." These are three possible ways of COLLOQUIALLY saying what you were trying to say with "I need a little amount of milk...."

"I need a few oranges...." can be taken in at least two ways. It might mean "I have to have a few oranges, because I can't live with NO oranges." Or maybe what you are trying to say is, "I really don't need very many oranges." I think you mean the second one, which also could be said this way: "I need ONLY a few oranges...." (You have to have the "only" in there, or else you can't tell which is the correct meaning.)

I hope this helps!

  • Thanks for clearing all the confusions. I was suspicious of these usages all the time and now you made the usages brightened for me. Thank you and lastly one more request: Are there any more adjectives I left behind which are used by natives in these situations? – Mistu4u Sep 25 '13 at 2:26
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    Well, unfortunately, that's a rather large question. There are so many ways to say things in English that I can't really answer. Just one example: I could say "I don't need much milk" by saying "not so much," "not so very much," "not a lot," "really not a lot," "sort of only a little," "maybe just a bit," "not too much," "kind of some but not really all that much," and so on, and so on, and so on.... – John M. Landsberg Sep 25 '13 at 2:44
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I think you can make these less awkward by changing the order of what you're saying; that is, put the eat/drink verb in front of the oranges and milk:

I need to drink a lot of milk nowadays.
I need to eat a lot of oranges nowadays.

I should be drinking a fair amount of milk nowadays.
I need to be eating some oranges nowadays.

I don't need to drink as much milk nowadays.
I don't need to be eating so many oranges nowadays.

I think that helps the sentences flow better.

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