Gases: air - *airs; steam - *steams; oxygen
Many abstract nouns are also uncountable.
peace - *peaces; evidence
- *evidences; information - *informations; history - *histories; work (=job) -
*works, advice – *advices; gratitude - *gratitudes
2.What are uncountables?
Uncountables refer to masses which we cannot
easily think of as consisting of separate items: i.e. liquids, powders. We can
divide many of these masses into subgroups, which are also uncountable:
material: cotton, wool, silk, nylon
meat: beef, pork, lamb, chicken
ex.: Are these socks made of wool or of cotton?
prefer lamb to chicken.
Types of uncountables
To remember easily, think of substances,
liquids, gases, and abstract ideas as uncountable. In the lists of words in a –
e, those uncountable nouns which have subgroups of uncountable nouns are marked
in bold italic type.
wood, plastic, leather, cement, chalk, plaster,
paint, sand, coal, rock, paper
advice, education, fiction, (outer) space, time, power, experience, history
NOTE: News looks like a plural noun, but
in fact it is singular uncountable.
Ex.: There’s not much news on the
Note also that work, homework and
housework are uncountable.
3.How countables and uncountables behave
3a. Countable nouns
(i)can follow a, an or one
(ii)can follow many, few, these, those
(iii)can follow a number such as two, three, four, …
(i) Do you have a pleasant job?
(But not: … *a pleasant work)
(ii) Those meals you cooked were delicious
(But not: *Those foods…)
(iii) I bought two loaves (of bread)
(But not: … *two breads)
3b. Uncountable nouns
(i)can have no article and can follow some in the singular. They take
only a singular verb.
(ii)can follow much or little
(iii)can easily follow expressions like most of the, all of the,
all the , half the (in the singular)
(i) It’s made of wood.
(But not: *made of tree)
(ii) There’s too much traffic.
(But not: *too much vehicle)
(iii) I sold all the furniture.
(But not: *all the table)
Some and all the are occasionally followed by a
singular countable noun. But this is exceptional.
Ex.: That was some
party! (= ‘a very special party’)
I’ve eaten all the loaf.
(=’the whole loaf’)
Many nouns have both
countable and uncountable uses. Some common examples:
A dozen (=12) eggs,
There’s some egg on your chin.
I’ve told him so many times.
We’ve wasted so much time.
The crowd threw rocks at us.
a tunnel through hard rock.
a strong wind;
There’s a lot of wind about.
She gave a talk on sailing.
That’s foolish talk.
the bright lights
of the city
Light travels very
Some more examples: a glass – (some) glass; a
cake – (some) cake; two papers – (some) paper.
For many nouns, the
countable use is for separate items or things, but the uncountable use is for
(an amount of) the material or substance. For example: two onions – (some)
onion; a (whole) cheese – (some) cheese; a chicken – (some) chicken.
A countable noun can
also describe ‘a kind or type of X’, where X is the uncountable
Ex.: Gold and
silver are valuable metals. (‘kinds of metal’)
This store sells
health foods and baby food(s).
Oak is a
We sometimes change an uncountable noun into a
countable noun. For instance, nouns for liquids as tea and coffee
are usually uncountable, but we can use them as countable nouns meaning (a) ‘a
glass or cup of X’, or (b) ‘a type of X’.
Ex.: A tea
and two coffees, please.
This is an
excellent mineral water from Belgium.
NOTE: The meaning of a noun does not always help us
to decide whether it is uncountable. For example, traffic, furniture,
baggage (G.B. luggage), money, news refer to a
group of separate things. But English treats them as uncountable; we could say
that English ‘sees’ these as a mass.
The nouns which have a
plural form are called countable nouns. Most nouns are countable.
The regular plural
form of a noun adds –s (or –es) to the singular.
Ex.: week – weeks;
cup – cups; plan – plans; law – laws; uncle – uncles;
toy – toys
Most nouns add –s,
but if the noun already ends in –s or –z, -x, -ch, -sh, it adds –es.
Ex.: bus – buses;
buzz – buzzes; box – boxes; peach – peaches; bush –
The formation of the plural can be describes as
-s after most nouns:
-es after nouns
ending in –o:
consonant + -y becomes –ies:
Note that vowel + -y adds –s: -ay:
proper nouns ending in –y add –s in the plural:
Some endings in –f/-fe take –ves:
Internal vowel change:
Nouns with plurals in –en:
1.Collective noun + singular or plural verb
1a. Collective nouns which have plural forms
Some collective nouns
such as audience, class, club, committee,
company, congregation, council, crew,
crowd, family, gang, government,
group, jury, mob, staff,
team and union can be used with singular or plural
verbs. They are singular and can combine with the relative pronouns which/that
and be replaced by it when we think of them in an impersonal
fashion, i.e. as a whole group:
The present government,
whichhasn’t been in power long, is trying to control
inflation. Itisn’t having much success.
They are plural and
can combine with who and be replaced by they
or them when we think of them in a more personal way, i.e. as the
individuals that make up the group:
The government, who are looking for a quick
victory, are calling for a general election soon. They expect to
be re-elected. A lot of people are giving them their support.
These collective nouns
can also have regular plural forms:
Governments in all countries are trying to control
nouns which do not have plural forms
collective nouns have no regular plural but can be followed by a singular or
plural verb: thearistocracy, thegentry,
the proletariat, the majority, the minority,
the public, the
youth of today:
Give the public
what it wants/they want.
Offspring has no plural form but can be followed by a
singular verb to refer to one or a plural verb to refer to more than one:
Her offspringis like her in every respect. (one child)
Her offspringare like her in every respect. (more than one child)
The youth of today (=all young people)
should not be confused with a/the youth (=a/the young man), which
has a regular plural youths:
The youth of
better off than we used to be.
The witness said he
saw a youth/five youths outside the shop.
Youth(=a time of life) is used with singular verbs:
Youth is the time for action; age is the time
2.Collective noun + plural verb
collective nouns must be followed by a plural verb; they do not have plural
forms: cattle, the clergy, the military, people, the police, swine, vermin:
Some people are never satisfied.
military have surrounded
People should not be confused with a/the people,
meaning “nation” or “tribe”, which is countable:
The British are a
English-speaking peoples share a common language.
3.Nouns with a plural form + singular verb
The following nouns,
though plural in form, are always followed by a verb in the singular:
-the noun news, as in: The news on TV is always
-games, such as billiards, bowls, darts,
dominoes: Billiards is becoming more and more popular.
-names of cities such as Athens,
Athens has grown
rapidly in the past decade.
4.Nouns with a plural form + singular or plural verb
The following nouns
ending in –ics take a singular verb: athletics, gymnastics,
linguistics, mathematics and physics:
Mathematics is a compulsory subject in school.
However, some words
ending in –ics, such as acoustics, economics,
ethics, phonetics and statistics take
a singular or plural verb. When the reference is to an academic subject (e.g. acoustics
= the scientific study of sound) then the verb must be singular:
Acoustics is a branch of physics.
When the reference is
specific, (e.g. acoustics = sound quality) then the verb must be
The acoustics in
the Festival Hall are extremely
describing illnesses have a singular verb:
is a dangerous disease
for pregnant women.
However, a plural verb
is sometimes possible:
Mumps are (or is) fairly rare in
Some plural-form nouns
can be regarded as a single unit (+verb in the singular) or collective (+verb
in the plural). Examples are: barracks, bellows, crossroads, gallows,
gasworks, headquarters, kennels, series, species and works
-single unit: This
species of rose is very rare.
-more than one: There
are thousands of species of butterflies.
The word means
(=a way to an end) is followed by a singular or plural verb, depending on the
word used before it:
All means have been used to get him to change his mind.
One means is still to be tried.
5.Nouns with a plural form + plural verb
Nouns with a plural
form only (+plural verb) are:
-nouns which can
combine with a pair of:
My trousers are torn.
Used with a pair
of, these words must have a singular verb:
A pair of
glasses costs quite a
lot these days.
We cannot normally use
numbers in front of these words, but we can say two, etc. pairsof:
Two pairs of
your trousers are still
at the cleaner’s.
Some of these nouns
can have a singular form when used in compounds: e.g. pyjama top,
Where did I put my pyjama
few words which occur only in the plural and are followed by a plural verb. Some of these are: antipodes, belongings,
brains (=intellect), clothes, congratulations,
earnings, goods, greens (=green
vegetables), lodgings, looks (=good looks), means
(=money or material possessions), oats, odds (in
betting), outskirts, particulars, quarters (=accommodation), remains,
All my belongings
are in this bag.
6.Nouns with different singular and plural meanings
Some nouns have
different meanings in the singular and plural. Typical examples: air/airs,
ash/ashes, content/contents, custom/customs, damage/damages, drawer/drawers,
fund/funds, glass/glasses, look/looks, manner/manners, minute/minutes,
pain/pains, scale/scales, saving/savings, spectacle/spectacles, step/steps,
work/works. Sometimes the meanings are far apart (air/airs),
sometimes they are quite close (fund/funds).
small step for man; one
giant leap for mankind.
You can only reach
that cupboard with a pair of steps.
Of course, the
countable nouns in the above list have their own plurals: dirty looks,
five minutes, sharp pains, two steps, etc.
General introduction to quantity
1.Quantifiers: what they are and what they do
Quantifiers are words
and phrases like few, little, plenty (of),
which often modify nouns and show how many things or how much of something we
are talking about. Some quantifiers combine with countable nouns, some with
uncountable and some with both kinds.
1.1Quantifiers combining with
countable nouns answer How many?:
How many eggs are there in the fridge? – There are a few.
1.2Quantifiers combining with
uncountable nouns answer How much?:
How much milk is there in the fridge? – There is a little.
1.3Quantifiers combining with
uncountable or with countable nouns answer How many?orHow much?:
How many eggs are there in the fridge? – There are plenty.
How much milk is there in the fridge? – There is plenty.
2.Quantifier + noun combinations
Quantifiers combine with different types of nouns:
+ plural countable noun:
not many books; any number more than one (2, 3 etc.), both, a
couple of, dozens/hundreds of, (a) few, fewer, the fewest, a/the majority of,
(not) many, a minority of, a number of, several:
We have fewer
students specializing in maths than in English.
2.2Quantifier + uncountable noun: not much sugar; a (small) amount
of, a bit of, adrop of (liquid), a
great/good deal of, (a) little, less, the least, (not) much:
I’d like a bit of
bread with this cheese.
+ plural countable noun(a lot of books) or + (singular)
of sugar): some (of the), any (of the), all (the), hardly any,
enough, half of the/half the, a lot of, lots of, more, most, most of the, no,
none of the, the other, part of the, plenty of, the rest of the:
There aren’t any
cars on the road at the moment.
There isn’t any traffic on the road at the
+ singular countable noun:
each book; all (of) the, another, any (of the), each, either,
every, half (of) the, most of the, neither, no, none of the, one, the only, the
other, some (of the), the whole (of the):
man for himself in this business.
3.Degrees of indefinite quantity
References to quantity
can be definite: that is, we can say exactly how many or how much:
We need six eggs
and half a kilo of butter.
quantifiers are indefinite, that is, they do not tell us exactly how
many or how much.
Some, any and zero
refer to an indefinite number or amount:
Are there (any)
apples in the bag?
There are (some)
apples in the bag. (We are
not told how many.)
Is there (any)
milk in the fridge?
There is (some)
milk in the fridge. (We
are not told how much.)
No + noun indicates a complete absence of the
There are no apples.
There is no milk.
Most quantity words
give us more information than some and any, telling us the
comparative degree of the number or amount:
plural countable nouns
Approximately how many
Approximately how much
There are too many eggs.
There is too much milk.
plenty of eggs.
a lot of/lots of eggs.
lot of/lots of milk.
(not) enough eggs.
(not) enough milk.
a few eggs.
very few eggs.
not many eggs.
hardly any eggs.
4.The use of ‘of’ after quantifiers
Some quantity phrases
used as determiners always take of:
We’ve had a lot
of answers. (a lot of answers=determiner + noun)
But when they are used
as pronouns, of is dropped:
We’ve had a lot. (a lot
as a pronoun)
4.1 General references with
Quantifiers which always take of
before nouns/pronouns include:
a couple of
dozens of/hundreds of
the majority/a minority of
a number of
a large/small amount of
a bit of
a lot of
These references are
general, i.e. we are not saying which particular people, etc.
Other quantifiers (any,
(a) few, more, most, some, etc.) go directly before the noun (no of)
in general references:
There are hardly
any eggs/a few eggs in the fridge.
There is some
butter/no butter in the dish.
4.2 Specific references with
If we need to be
specific (i.e. point to particular items) we can follow a quantifier with of
+ a determiner (the, this, my).
Have some of
this/a little of my wine.
(e.g. the wine in this bottle)
I’ll lend you some
of these/a few of my books.
In the same way we can
make specific references with quantifiers which are always followed by of
by using determiners after them. Compare:
A lot of
A lot of the
students who missed my
lecture yesterday want to borrow my notes. (specific reference)
Note the following
quantifiers which are always specific and which must therefore be followed by of
None of the/this
milk can be used.
Part of /The rest of this food will be for supper.
Put the rest of
these biscuits in the
Note the omission and
use of of in:
How much is left? –
None (of it). Part of it.The rest of it.
How many are left?
– None (of them). Part of/The rest of them.
Particular quantifiers and their uses
Exact indications of
quantity can be conveyed by means of numbers.
Cardinal numbers can
be used as quantifiers (two apples) or pronouns (I bought two).
The number one will combine with any noun used as a singular
We’ve got one
micro and two electric typewriters in our office.
All other numbers combine with plural countable
Two cabbages, three kilos of tomatoes and twelve
Note also ordinals
followed by cardinals (the first three, the second two,
etc.) and: thenext/last two, etc.:
The first three
runners won medals.
A number of adverbial
expressions can be used to describe quantities and groups: one at a
time; one by one; two by two; by the dozen; by the hundred; in tens; in
How would you like
your money? – In fives please.
We can say: ½ (a/one
half), ¼ (a/one quarter, or one fourth,
AmE) and 1/3 (a/onethird). Otherwise, we
make use of cardinal and ordinal numbers when referring to a fraction on its
own: 9/16 (nine sixteenths) or to a whole number +
fraction: 2 2/3 (two and two thirds):
¼ (Two and a quarter) plus 3 ½ (three and a half) equals 5 ¾ (five
We use a
(Not one) with fractions for weights and measures:
I bought half a
pound of tea and a quarter of a pound of coffee.
This could also be expressed as: a half pound
of tea, a quarter pound of coffee.
Fractions expressed as
decimals are referred to as follows: 0.5 (nought point five
or pointfive); 2.05 (two point nought
five or two point oh five); 2.5 (two point
The front tyre pressure should be 1.8 (one point
eight) and the rear pressure 1.9 (onepoint nine).
1.5Multiplying and dividing quantity
The following can be
used to refer to quantity: double(the quantity or amount);
twice asmuch (or twice the quantity or amount);
half as much (or half the quantity or amount),
We need double/twice/three times the
1.6Approximate number and quantity
Numbers can be
modified by: e.g. about, almost, exactly, fewer than, at least, less
than, more than, nearly, over, under:
There were over
seventy people at the party.
(= more than)
You can’t vote if
you are under eighteen.
(= less than)
2.The use of ‘some’ and ‘any’
Some and any are the most frequently
used quantity words in the language. They never answer How many?andHow much?:
How much do you
want? – Justa
little. (Not *some)
How many do you
want? – Just a few.
We generally use some
and any when it is not important to state exactly how great or
how small the quantity is. They often function as if they were the plural of a/an:
There are some
letters for you. (unspecified number)
How many (letters
are there)? – Seven. (number specified)
bread in the bread-bin. (unspecified amount)
How much (bread is
there)? – Half a loaf.
It is sometimes
possible to omit some or any:
My wife bought me medicine and pastilles for my
SOME (= indefinite quantity or amount) is normally
-in the affirmative:
There are some eggs in the fridge. (i.e. an unstated number)
There is some
milk in the fridge. (i.e. an unstated quantity)
-in questions when we expect (or hope to get) the answer ‘Yes’:
Have you got some
paper-clips in that box?
(i.e.: I know or I think you’ve got some and expect you to say ‘Yes’.)
-in offers, requests, invitations and suggestions when we expect the answer
‘Yes’ or expect implied agreement. The following are in the form of questions,
though we are not seeking information:
you like some (more) coffee?(expecting ‘Yes’)
May I have some
(more) coffee? (expecting ‘Yes’)
-to mean ‘certain, but not all’:
Some people believe anything they read in
Not…some can be used in certain contexts to mean ‘not
I didn’t understand
some of the lectures/some of the information.
Some + countable or uncountable noun is normally
There are some letters for you.
Some, meaning ‘certain but not all’ is
usually stressed. It can be stressed at the beginning of a statement to
emphasize a contrast:
Some people have no manners.
It can be stressedto refer to
an unspecified person/thing:
Some boy left his shirt in the
ANY (= indefinite quantity or amount) is normally
-in negative statements containing not or n’t:
got any shirts in your size.
milk in the fridge.
-in questions when we are not sure about the answer or expect ‘No’:
Have you got any paper-clips in the box?
(i.e. I don’t know if you’ve got any and wouldn’t be
surprised if you said ‘No’)
-in sentences containing a negative word other than ‘not’, such as hardly,
never, seldom or without, or when
there is any suggestion of doubt, e.g. with if or whether
any petrol in the tank.
We got to Pariswithout any
I don’t know if/whether
there’s any news from Harry.
-with at all and (more formally) whatever for
I haven’t got any idea at all/whatever about
3.The use of ‘not…any’, ‘no’ and ‘none’
3.1‘Not…any’ and ‘no’
An alternative way of
forming a negative is with no:
not…any: There aren’t any buses after .
no: There are no buses after .
A clause can
contain ONLY ONENEGATIVE
WORD, so that not
and e.g. no or never cannot be used together:
I could get no
information. (Not *I
When used in
preference to not…any, no is slightly more formal and makes a
negative idea more emphatic. Negatives with not…any are used in normal
conversation, but we must always use no (Never *not
any) if we wish to begin a sentence with a negative:
stores open on Sundays.
No can combine with a
There’s no letter for
you. (= There isn’t a letter for you.)
I’m no expert, but I
think this paper is a fake.
No at the beginning of
a statement strongly emphasizes a negative idea.
3.2‘No’ and ‘none’
No meaning not…any is a determiner and can
only be used before a noun; none stands on its own as a pronoun:
There isn’t any
bread. There’s no bread.There’s none.
There aren’t any
sweets.There are no sweets.There are none.
none is more emphatic that not…any. When no
or none are used, not cannot be used as
get any information about flights to the USA.
I could get no
information about flights to the USA.
Do you have any new
diaries? – We’ve got none at the moment.
4.Special uses of ‘some’, ‘any’ and ‘no’
Apart from its common
use as a quantifier, some can be used to refer to an unspecified
person or thing etc. When used in this way it can mean:
- ‘several’:I haven’t seen Tom for some
- ‘approximately’:There were some 400 demonstrators.
- ‘extraordinary’:That’s some radio you’ve
- ‘an unknown’:There must be some book
which could help.
- ‘no kind of’:That’s some consolation,
I must say! (ironic)
With abstract nouns some
can be used to mean ‘an amount of’:
We’ve given some thought to your idea and
find it interesting.
Apart from its common
use as a quantifier, any can be used to refer to an unspecified
person or thing and can occur in affirmative statements. When used in this way
it can mean:
- ‘usual’:This isn’t
just any cake. (it’s special)
minimum/maximum’:He’ll need any
help he can get.
- ‘I don’t care
which’:Give me a plate. Any
plate/one will do.
4.3‘Any’ and ‘no’ + adjective or adverb
Any and no, used as adverbs to mean
‘at all’, will combine with adjectives and adverbs in the comparative:
Is he any better this morning? – No, he’s no
Any and no used as adverbs combine
with a few positive adjectives, e.g. good (any good) and different
Is that book any good? – It’s no good
5.Common uses of ‘much’ and ‘many’
We normally usemuch
(+ uncountable) and many (+ plural countable):
-in negative statements:
I haven’t much time. There aren’t many
pandas in China.
Is there much
milk in that carton? Have
you had many inquiries?
In everyday speech we
usually avoid using much and many in affirmative
statements. We use other quantifiers, especially a lot of. Much
and many occur in formal affirmative statements:
Much has been done to improve conditions of work.
Many teachers dislike marking piles of exercise books.
Combinations like as
much as and as many as are used in the affirmative or
You can/can’t have as much as (as many as)
and many are modified by much and far(much/far too much, much/far too many) they tend to be used in
Your son gets much/far
too much pocket money.
There are far
too many accidents at this junction.
Many in time expressions occurs
in the affirmative or negative:
I have lived here/haven’t lived here (for) many
Not much and not many commonly occur in
Have you brought much
luggage? – No, not much.
Have you written many
letters? – No, not many.
Not much and not many can be subjects or
part of the subject:
Not much is really known about dinosaurs.
Not many people know about Delia’s past.
Much occurs in a number of expressions (e.g. there’s
not much point in…; it’s a bit much; he’s not much of a…):
There’s not much point in telling the same
Not so much occurs in comparisons:
It’s not so much
a bedroom, more a studio.
Dennis is not so much a nuisance as
It’s not so much
that he dislikes his parents, as that/but that he wants to set up on
Many (like few) can be modified by the,
my, your, etc.:
One of the many people he knows can help him
to get a job.
6.‘(A) few’ and ‘(a) little’
6.1‘Few’ and ‘a few’
Few and a few are used with plural
Few is negative, suggesting ‘hardly any at all’,
and is often used after very:
Mona has had very few opportunities to
practise her English.
In everyday speech we
prefer not…many or hardly any:
Mona hasn’t had many opportunities
to practise her English.
Mona has had hardly
any opportunities to practise her English.
Few can also convey the idea of ‘not as many as
A lot of guests were expected, but few came.
A few is positive, suggesting ‘some, a (small)
The police would like to ask him a few questions.
A few can mean ‘a very small number’, or even
‘quite a lot’. The size of the number depends on the speaker’s
I don’t know how much he’s got, but it must be a
A few can be used to mean ‘more than none, more
Have we run out of sardines? – No, there are a
few tins left.
A few can also combine with other
many do you want? Just a few please. (i.e. a limited number, not many)
are only a few seats left. (i.e. very few, hardly any)
many do you want? Quite a few please. (i.e. quite a lot)
a good:We had a
good few letters this morning. (i.e. quite a lot)
dozen, 100,The film director employed a
few hundred people as extras.
my, etc.:The few
people who saw the film enjoyed it.
possessions were sold after her death. (i.e. the small number of)
6.2‘Little’ and ‘a little’
Little and a little are used with
Little (like few) is negative,
suggesting ‘hardly any at all’ and is often used after very:
He has very little hope of winning this
In everyday speech we prefer not…much or
He hasn’t much hope of winning this race.
He has hardly
any hope of winning this race.
Little can also convey the idea of ‘not as much as
We climbed all day but made little progress.
Little occurs in idiomatic ‘negative’ phrases such as
little point, little sense, little use,
There’s little point in trying to mend it.
A little and, in very informal contexts, a bit
(of) are positive, suggesting ‘some, a (small) quantity’:
I’d like a little (or a bit of) time to
think about it please.
The size of the amount
depends on the viewpoint of the speaker:
Mrs. Lacey left a
little money in her will – about $1,000,000!
A little can also mean ‘more than none, more than
Have we got any flour? – Yes, there’s a little
in the packet.
A little can combine with other words:
much do you want? – Just a little please. (i.e. a limited
quantity, not much)
only a little soup left.
(i.e. very little, hardly any)
Few and little can be modified by
e.g. extremely, relatively:
There are relatively few jobs for
A few and a little can
modify other quantifiers, as in a few more, a little less etc.
6.3‘Fewer/the fewest’ and ‘less/the least’
These are the
comparative and superlative forms of few and little. In theory, fewer/thefewest should be used only with plural countables (fewer/the
fewest videos) and less/the least only with uncountables
(less/the least oil):
Fewer videos were sold this year than last.
Less oil was produced this year than last.
In practice, however, the informal use by native
speakers of less and the least with plural
countables or collective words like people is commonly heard (less
people, less newspapers) but is not generally approved:
Less and less
people can afford to go
abroad for their holidays.
programmes on TV attract the least viewers.
Less (not fewer) is used
before than for prices and periods of time:
It costs less than $5. I’ll see you in less than
6.4The modification of ‘fewer’ and’less’
modified by even, far, many, a
good deal/many and a lot:
There are far fewer/a lot fewer accidents in
Less is commonly modified by even, far,
a good deal, a little, a lot, many
(many less) and much:
I’ve got much/a lot/far less free time than
I used to have.
1.Give the abstract
boy; partner; wise; humid; to discover; proud; to know; long; deep;
patient; illiterate; brother.
3.Use the verbs in
brackets in the singular or in the plural (present tense) as required by the
1.My family (be) at
team (play) tonight.
an exact science.
5.Our group (be) made up of fifteen students.
6.The crowd (be) gathered in front of the stadium gates.
(agree) to take the necessary steps to improve the living conditions.
8.The staff (be) composed of almost twenty persons.
9.The army (be) camped near the river.
(is, are) not correct.
2.The furniture in
this room (is, are) very old.
3.People (is, are)
interested in computers nowadays.
4.Tom’s trousers (was,
5.My scissors (is,
are) in the drawer.
6.The news (was, were) good.
5.Use the singular
or plural, as required:
1.The crowd (was,
were) cheering the speaker.
2.The whole gang
(was, were) arrested.
3.The pack of cards
(was, were) lying all over the table.
4.When the audience
(has, have) settled (itself, themselves) in (its, their) chairs, the play will
5.A bunch of
flowers (was, were) offered to her.
6.The herd (was,
were) in the field.
7.The class (is,
are) the best in the school.
8.A lot of people
(has, have) flu this autumn.
a stack of wood; a herd of deer; a bunch of
flowers; a swarm of flies; a flock of sheep; a crowd of people; a bundle of
sticks; a series of events; a cluster of stars; a gang of thieves; a chain of
mountains; a flight of steps; a chest of drawers; a bunch (cluster) of grapes;
a fleet of ships; a pack of wolves; a flight of birds; a team of workers.
7.Supply (the) little,
a little, (the) few, a few in the following sentences:
1.I’d like to make …
remarks in connection with the topic under discussion.
2.I know … of the
3.I know … about
the man. There’s nothing definite that I could say.
there is … time left. … spare time I have after work
is always spent on shopping or doing a lot of housework. Now there is … time
left, so we can go to the next bookshop to buy the latest books and magazines.
5.She has a fairly
good command of French and, besides, knows … German.
6.… weeks from now he’ll be miles and miles away.
7.There are … books
on civil law in our library. … books on civil law I
have read are very difficult.
8.It’s no use
asking him about it. He has … experience in this matter.
9.He had very …
friends (hardly any friends).
10.The chairman said … words (some words).
11.There was very … water in the flowerpot.
12.May I have … wine, please?
13.She had … biscuits and … milk and felt much better.
14.There is … soup left so I cannot give you a second
many, very, such, such as, such a, as
1.Nick is the …
image of his father.
2.You have eaten too
… cakes and drunk too … lemonade, no wonder you feel sick.
3.‘How … books do
you want to borrow?’ – ‘As … as you can give me.’
4.On … fine day it
is a pity to stay indoors.
5.So … people had
come to the party that you could hardly find a chair to sit down.
6.Cities … London and Glasgow
are very crowded.
9.Substitute (a) few,
many, (a) little, much, a lot of in place of ‘a
small quantity’, ‘a large number’, etc.
John drinks a large quantity of coffee.
John drinks a lot of coffee.
Mary had a small number of good friends.
Mary had a few good friends.
He doesn’t eat a large quantity of bread.
He doesn’t eat much bread.
don’t bring a large number of books to school.
2.Children need a
large quantity of milk.
usually buy a large number of pens.
4.Has John got a
large number of shirts?
5.Mary drinks a
small quantity of coffee.
6.We haven’t got a
large number of classes today.
7.They have a small
quantity of money.
8.He had a small
number of toys.
10.Choose the correct adjective:
1.There is (little,
few) water in this well.
2.There are (much,
many) mountains in Canada.
3.We have received
(much, many) valuable information.
4.She made (little,
few) mistakes in her last composition.
5.How (much, many)
pages have you translated?
6.(much, many) cars passed over here.
7.There is (little,
few) ink in this inkpot.
11.Supply some or any:
1.Wasn’t there …
telephone in the house?
2.May I give you …
3.‘Give me … cold
milk to drink’, said Mary.
4.He may turn up …
5.The driver can
stop the engine at … moment he pleases.
6.… people are very interesting to talk to; others are boring.
7.Is there … reason
for his refusal?
You’ll have to do it … way.
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