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Unit 87. Much, many, little, few, a lot, plenty



Unit 87; Part A


galka.jpgWe use much and little with uncountable nouns:
        much time        much luck       little energy        little money

We use many and few with plural nouns:

        many friends       many people       few cars       few countries

Unit 87; Part B


galka.jpgWe use a lot of / lots of / plenty of with both uncountable and plural nouns:

     a lot of luck            lots of time           plenty of money
     a lot of friends       lots of people       plenty of ideas


Plenty
= more than enough:
   •    There's no need to hurry. We've got plenty of time.

Unit 87; Part C


galka.jpgMuch is unusual in positive sentences (especially in spoken English). Compare:

   •    We didn't spend much money.

but   We spent a lot of money.  (not We spent much money)
   •    Do you see David much?
but   I see David a lot (not I see David much)

We use many and a lot of in all kinds of sentences:

   •    Many people drive too fast.    or    A lot of people drive too fast.
   •    Do you know many people?  
  or    Do you know a lot of people?
   •    There aren't many tourists here.   
or    There aren't a lot of tourists here.

Note that we say many years / many weeks / many days
(not a lot of ...):
   •    We've lived here for many years.  (not a lot of years)

Unit 87; Part D


galka.jpgLittle and few (without a) are negative ideas (= not much / not many):

   •    Gary is very busy with his job. He has little time for other things. (= not much time, less time than he would like)
   •    Vicky doesn't like living in London. She has few friends there.  ( = not many, not as many as she would like)

You can say very little and very few:

   •    Gary has very little time for other things.
   •    Vicky has very few friends in London.

Unit 87; Part E


galka.jpgA little and a few have a more positive meaning.
A little = some, a small amount:
   •    Let's go and have a coffee. We have a little time before the train leaves.

       (a little time = some time, enough time to have a coffee)
   •    'Do you speak English?'    'A little.'  (so we can talk a bit)

A few = some, a small number:
   •    I enjoy my life here. I have a few friends and we meet quite often.
       (a few friends = not many but enough to have a good time)
   •    'When was the last time you saw Clare?'    'A few days ago.'  (= some days ago)

Compare:
   •    He spoke little English, so it was difficult to communicate with him.
         He spoke a little English, so we were able to communicate with him.
   •    She's lucky. She has few problems. 
(= not many problems)
         Things are not going so well for her. She has a few problems. 
(= some problems)

You can say only a little and only a few:

   •    Hurry! We only have a little time.  (not only little time)
   •    The village was very small. There were only a few houses.  (not only few houses)


Exercises

flag.jpgIn some of these sentences much is incorrect or unnatural. Change much to many or a lot (of) where necessary. Write 'OK' if the sentence is correct.
Key.3    a lot of salt
4    OK
5    It cost a lot
6    OK
7    many people    or    a lot of people
8    I use the phone a lot
9    OK
10  a lot of money

1    We didn't spend much money. 
2    Sue drinks much tea.
3    Joe always puts much salt on his food.       
4    We'll have to hurry. We haven't got much time.
5    It cost much to repair the car.       
6    Did it cost much to repair the car?       
7    I don't know much people in this town.       
8    I use the phone much at work.       
9    There wasn't much traffic this morning.       
10  You need much money to travel round the world.
OK                       
a lot of tea            

________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
________________
flag.jpgComplete the sentences using plenty (of) + the following:
Key.2    He's got plenty of money.
3    There's plenty of room.
4    ... she still has plenty to learn.
5    There are plenty of things to see.
6    There are plenty of hotels.

 
hotels     money     room     things to see       time     to learn
 
1    There's no need to hurry. There's    plenty of time.   
2    He's got no financial problems. He's got ________________
3    Come and sit with us. There's ________________
4    She knows a lot, but she still has ________________
5    It's an interesting town to visit. There ________________
6    I'm sure we'll find somewhere to stay.  ________________
flag.jpgPut in much/many/few/little (one word only).
Key.2    little
3    many
4    much
5    few
6    little
7    many


1    She isn't very popular. She has    few    friends.
2    Ann is very busy these days. She has _______ free time.
3    Did you take _______ photographs when you were on holiday?
4    I'm not very busy today. I haven't got _______ to do.
5    This is a very modern city. There are _______ old buildings.
6    The weather has been very dry recently. We've had _______ rain.
7    'Do you know Rome?'    "No. I haven't been there for _______ years.'
flag.jpgPut in a where necessary. Write 'OK' if the sentence is already complete.
Key.3    a few dollars
4    OK
5    a little time
6    OK
7    only a few words
8    a few months
1    She's lucky. She has few problems.
2    Things are not going so well for her. She has few problems.
3    Can you lend me few dollars?       
4    There was little traffic, so the journey didn't take very long.
5    I can't give you a decision yet. I need little time to think. 
6    It was a surprise that he won the match. Few people
      expected him to win.
7    I don't know much Spanish - only few words.       
8    I wonder how Sam is. I haven't seen him for few months.  
OK                      
a few problems   

_______________
_______________
_______________

_______________
_______________
_______________
flag.jpgPut in little / a little / few / a few.
Key.2    a little
3    a few
4    few
5    little
6    a little
7    little
8    a few


1    Gary is very busy with his job. He has   little   time for other things.
2    Listen carefully. I'm going to give you _______ advice.
3    Do you mind if I ask you _______ questions?
4    It's not a very interesting place to visit, so _______ tourists come here.
5    I don't think Jill would be a good teacher. She's got    patience.
6    'Would you like milk in your coffee?'    'Yes, _______.'
7    This is a very boring place to live. There's _______ to do.
8    'Have you ever been to Paris?'    'Yes, I've been there _______ times.'



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