Unit 82. Much, many, little, few, a lot, plenty
Much many few little
We 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
A lot (of) lots (of) plenty (of)
We use a lot of / lots of / plenty of with uncountable and plural nouns:
a lot of luck lots of time plenty of money
a lot of people lots of books plenty of ideas
Plenty = more than enough:
“Have some more to eat.” “No, thank you. I’ve had plenty.”
There’s no need to hurry. We have plenty of time.
We didn’t spend much money.
Do you have many friends?
We use much and many mainly in negative sentences and questions:
In positive sentences it is usually better to use a lot (of). Much is not normally used in positive sentences:
We spent a lot of money, (not we spent much money)
There has been a lot of rain recently, (not much rain)
But we use too much and so much in positive sentences:
I can’t drink this tea. There’s too much sugar in it.
Little / a little / few / a few
Little and few (without a) are negative ideas:
Hurry up! There’s little time. (= not much, not enough time)
He’s not popular. He has few friends. (= not many, not enough friends)
We often use very before little and few (very little and very few):
There’s very little time.
He has very few friends. “A little” and “a few” are more positive ideas. A little / a few = some, a small amount, or a small number:
Let’s go and have a cup of coffee. We have a little time before the train leaves. (= some time, enough time to have a drink)
“Do.you have any money?” “Yes, a little. Do you want to borrow some?”
I enjoy my life here. I have a few friends and we get together, (a few friends = not many but enough to have a good time)
“When did you last see Tom?” “A few days ago.” (= some days ago) But “only a little” and “only a few” have a negative meaning:
Hurry up! We only have a little time.
The town was very small. There were only a few houses.