Nouns are things, places, people, and ideas; nouns can be singular or plural (meaning more than one). If a noun is plural, then it is treated differently. A plural noun can countable, meaning they can be counted, or uncountable, meaning they are not individual objects and hence cannot be counted.
The general rule is that any is used for questions and negatives, while ‘some’ is used for positives.
Many and Much
The concept of countable and uncountable seems simple; however, much and many with countable and uncountable can be a challenging concept for some foreign learners of English for whom the rules of grammar are different in their language.
We use quantifiers like much, many, a lot, lots of when talking about quantities and amounts.
Japanese do not have the idea of countable and uncountable, especially with descriptors. Japanese students will want to say, “That is many rain” or “That is much apples.”
We can use ‘a lot of’ and ‘lots’ in an informal style with plural countable nouns instead of many or much,
Ways of using Much and many:
- With a noun – “Are there many monkeys in the zoo?”
- With a question – “There are many coins in the fountain?”
- With a negative – “There was not much rain yesterday.”
- Much of, Many of – How much of the president’s speech was the truth?”
- Much and many can be used without a noun if the noun is obvious –“How many?”
- The word ‘so’ can be used to emphasize a large quantity –“She has so much money?
What is the difference between Less and Fewer
Use ‘less’ when the items are uncountable. Example: “I bought fewer apples than last week.”
Use ‘Fewer’ when the items are countable. Example: I bought less rice than last week.”
Test your knowledge of countable and uncountable in English Grammar
Much and many Countable and Uncountable will be a difficult concept for some English Learners, especially those students from countries with a native language that do not have a distinction between countable and uncountable. Teachers may need to be persistent until the students understand when to use much and many