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The Quantifier in English Grammar

Determiners are a closed class of words that provide information such as familiarity, location, quantity, and number about a noun or noun phrase. Determiners differ in form and function from adjectives, which describe attributes of nouns and noun phrases. Quantifiers provide information about quantity of another word or phrase. Some of the most common English quantifiers include the following:

  • all
  • any
  • both
  • each
  • either
  • enough
  • every
  • few
  • fewer
  • less
  • many
  • more
  • most
  • neither
  • no*
  • several
  • some

Many quantifiers appear within determine phrases that contain the p-word of functioning as a particle. For example:

  • all of
  • few of
  • many of
  • most of
  • none of
  • plenty of
  • some of

Multipliers such as twice, double, and second and fractions such as one-third and half are also quantifiers. Some grammars consider numerals, or counting numbers, as a subcategory of quantifiers.

*Some grammars also categorize the determiner no as a negative article.

Using Quantifiers

Like other determiners, quantifiers perform the grammatical function of determinative. Quantifiers indicate the quantity of another word or phrase. For example:

  • Many students failed to finish the exam.
  • She wants fewer rolls and more biscuits.
  • All of the branches broke off the tree.
  • The second film was better than the first.
  • Half the apples fell into the creek.
  • Neither foot hurts much anymore.

Quantifiers are determiners that provide information about the quantity of another word or phrase.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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