1

I'm trying to figure out if this list of quantifiers is countable, uncountable or both.

I have marked them as either: C (COUNTABLE), UC (UNCOUNTABLE) or B (BOTH).

I use the following simple (silly?) test:

  1. CARS
  2. TRAFFIC

For example:

A LOT OF: CARS -> OK

A LOT OF: TRAFFIC -> OK

So "A LOT OF" is BOTH

I've marked the following. Anyone care to double-check for me? There are a couple that I dont know.

a large amount (of) - B

a little - UN

a lot of - B

a small amount (of) - B

a small number (of) - C few - C

fewer - C

fewer and fewer - C

less - B

less and less - B

many - C

more - B

most - B

much - UN

no - B

none of - DONT KNOW...C?

several - C

the majority of - DONT KNOW...B?

1 Answer 1

2

Your cars vs. traffic test is a good one. I agree with all of your answers except for "less" and "less and less." Both of these quantifiers are uncountable.

This is actually a very common mistake that even native English speakers frequently make. "Less" and "fewer" are both words which mean "a smaller quantity," but "less" always refers to something uncountable like traffic, while "fewer" refers to something countable like cars. Many people will mistakenly say "less cars" when the grammatically correct phrase is "fewer cars."

As for the two "don't know" answers, you're correct that "none of" is countable, similar to how you might use "one of" or "two of." However, since "the majority" can refer to a number, "the majority of" follows the same pattern, so it is countable.

2
  • 1
    Foolishness is noncountable. What do you do with "Let's have none of your foolishness"? Time and blame are noncountable, but a "majority of" those are in use.
    – user105719
    Feb 7, 2020 at 4:44
  • Thank you Max. That really helped a lot!
    – Gottano
    Feb 7, 2020 at 9:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .