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Quantifiers

We use quantifiers when we want to give someone information about the number of something to answer the questions: how much and how many.

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All or noneUse
All (of) the people are here.100% are here.
Not all (of) the people are here.Less than 100%
All (of) the people are not here.Not well defined. Could be “not all” or “none”
None of the people are here.0% Focus on “people” (are)
Not any of the people are here.0% Focus on “each” individual (is)

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Some, Most, Many, Several, Few, A Few, A lot ofUse
Some (of the) people are here.
Some (of the) people are not here.
Focus: positive
Focus: negative
Most of the people are here.
Most of the people are not here.
Focus: positive
(uncommon)
Many (of the) people are here.
Many (of the) people are not here
Focus: positive
(uncommon)
Not many (of the) people are here.
Several (of the) people are here
Focus: negative. More people were expected.
Focus: positive
A few (of the) people are here.
Few (of the) people are here.
Focus: positive. At least some are here.
Focus: negative. More people were expected.
A lot of (the) people are here.
A lot of (the) people are not here.
Focus: positive
Focus: negative
Not a lot of (the) people are here.
Three (of the) people are here.
Three (of the) people are not here.
Focus: negative. More people were expected.
Focus: positive
Focus: negative
Half of the people are here.
Half of the people are not here.
Focus: positive 50% are here.
Focus: negative 50% are absent.

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Both, neither, oneUse
Both (of the) people are here.100% are here.
One of the people is here.Focus: negative
One of the people is not hereFocus: negative
Neither of the people is here.Focus: negative
Neither of the people are here.Focus: 100% are absent. (Very informal)

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Quantifiers in QuestionsUse
Are all of the people here?Yes, all of them are.
Some of them are.
Most of them are.
No, none of them are.
No, not many of them are.
Are most of the people here?No, only some of them are.
Are any of the people here?Yes, some of them are.
Yes, most of them are.
No, none of them are.

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Answers may differ depending on the questions:Column 2
Is anyone here?
  • Yes, I am.
  • (X) No, Jim isn’t here.

Even if only one person is here, the answer is positive.
(One person can answer for the whole group.)
The answer can be negative only if 0% are here.
For 1-100%, the answer is positive.

Is everyone here?
  • (X) Yes, I am.
  • Yes, we (all) are.
  • No, Jim isn’t here.

If even one person is not here, the answer is negative.
(One person cannot independently speak for the group.)
The answer can be positive only if 100% are here.
For 0-99%, the answer is negative.

Other possibilities:

  • Everyone but/except Bill is here.
  • Most of us are here.
  • Almost all of us are here.

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