Usage of Determiners – Part 2 – Verbal with Sujit

In continuation to our series ” Verbal With Sujit ” we look at the other side of determiners that is “Quantifiers” in this article . Quantifiers determine how much or how many of the noun.  See the table below for which quantifiers will work with what kind of nouns.

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Count Nouns (for eg.boys) Non-count nouns (for eg. Swimming) Count and Non-count nouns
Quantifiers many much all of the
a few a little some
few little most of the
several a bit of enough
a couple of a good deal of a lot of
none of a great deal of lots of
no plenty of
a lack of

1) I have little money AND I have a little money.

Little money not enough for the purpose.

A little money means a small quantity but probably enough for the purpose.

Quite a little means a large quantity.

The above are used with non-count nouns and the same way few, a few, quite a few, are used with the countable nouns.

Can you please lend me some money?- To this question the different responses will mean the following.

Correct: I have little money. ( I have no money/ not enough money to lend any.)

Correct: I have a little money. ( I have just enough money to lend you the amount you require.)

Correct: I have quite a little money. ( I have a large amount with me and can lend quite a big sum.)

( Money is a non-count noun, though coins and currency notes are countable.)


2) Most students in this college OR Most of the students in this college?

Most of the is used when it is followed by a specific noun (count or non count). Most is used when the following noun is used with a general plural noun.

Correct: Most of the students in this college are clever.

Incorrect: Most students in this college are clever.

Correct: Most students apply to different colleges.

Incorrect: Most of the students apply to to several colleges.


3) Many a student AND Many students.

Correct: Many a student has asked this question.

Correct: Many students have asked this question.

Both the above are correct constructions ( though the first one is considered to be somewhat literary ) and mean the same.

This excerpt has been reproduced from the book “The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability for the CAT and other MBA Entrance Examinations” by Sujit Kumar  published by Dorling Kindersley India Pvt Ltd, licensees of Pearson Education in South Asia. The content has been reproduced with permission from the author.


The author has a vast experience in training students appearing for various competitive exams. He has been preparing candidates for Verbal Ability, Group Discussion and Personal Interview for more than a decade. Apart from holding a diploma in management and corporate experience of more than 10 years, the author holds a masters degree in English Literature. He is currently working with CPLC,Mumbai as a Faculty and a part of the senior management.

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