QUANTITATIVE PRONOUNS AND INTENSIFIERS IN ENGLISH.
1. A LOT OF, A GREAT DEAL OF, PLENTY OF, LOTS OF ,MUCH, MANY, are all quantitative pronouns which go BEFORE NOUNS and shouldn't be confused with intensifiers, which we will study later. In Spanish, they mean different things depending on whether they take countable or uncountable nouns and whether they occur in interrogative or negative sentences
are also called mass nouns and do not take cardinal number before them: you can't say 'two rices' (=dos arroces)
- There is a lot of /plenty of food in the fridge, so you don't have to buy much more
- A great deal of the money we earn is from repairing old bicycles
- Such a great amount of water will cause problems in the sewage system.
-There isn't much food in the fridge, so we'd better go down to the shops.
- Is there much milk in the fridge ?MUCH can also be an intensifier
Can be numbered like in
'three cats and two dogs is too much for a city flat'
- A lot of/plenty of people believe in UFO's
- Lots of things were invented by the Chinese
- Many people in the party praised the quality of the food.
-a lot can also be an intensifier, similar in meaning to 'very'.
- Not many people understood the real meaning of the project
- Are there many different kinds of snakes ?
2. LITTLE, A LITTLE, FEW A FEWare another group of quantifiers which Spanish students find it hard to use. Occurrences are also different according to whether we have uncountable or countable nouns and whether a positive or a negative meaning is intended. See the chart below:
'There is a little money in this box, so don't worry much ('a little' might even mean 'a lot')
'There is little food at home today, so we'd better get some
note:very little is also possible.
'He drank very little and remained quiet'.
'A fewstudents went out to demonstrate against the law' (which might even mean 'a lot' of students)
It is also very usual to have quite a few meaning a lot as in
'Quite a few students were left without a seat'.
Fewhas negative connotations and admits intensifiers like in
'She had very few friends.'
It also takes comparatives and superlatives:
'Women usually have fewer opportunities
He's got the fewest friends in class. He's so nasty.
3. INTENSIFIERS : VERY, EXTREMELY, QUITE, RATHER, FAIRLY, A LOT, MUCH
Very, extremely, fairly go followed by an adjective or adverb like in.
'This is a very good place to camp'.
'She speaks French very well' (very+adverb)
''Our coffee was only fairly hot' (medianamente caliente)
Quite has a special syntax and means 'bastante' always in a positive way. It works in two ways:
1. That book is quite good.
2. That's quite a good book.
Rather is more or less the same but means 'bastante' in a not so positive degree. It usually occurs with negative adjectives or adverbs.
1. She slept rather badly that night
2. 'The party was rather boring
much can be :
1. an intensifier in:
'Yes, I liked it very much' or 'Thank you very much'.
'I liked it a lot ' is possible
2. mean 'a great part of':
'Much of his time in the hospital he spends it doing crosswords.'
3. it also appears in well-known expressions such as
'How much is it ?'
'It cost me twice as much as that.'
'I don't think it will be that much'
' I don't earn so much money'
4. it is the most expected intensifier before adjectives in the comparative degree.
We had a much better time later at home than at the party
'You look a lot better
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