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
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 friends lots of people plenty of ideas
Plenty = more than enough:
* There's no need to hurry. We've got plenty of time.
* I've had plenty to eat. I don't want any more.
We use much/many especially in negative sentences and questions. A lot (of) is also possible:
* We didn't spend much money. (or We didn't spend a lot of money.)
* Do you know many people? (or Do you know a lot of people?)
* I don't go out much. (or I don't go out a lot.)
In positive sentences a lot (of) is more usual. Much is unusual in positive sentences in spoken English:
* We spent a lot of money. (not 'We spent much money')
* He goes out a lot. (not 'He goes out much')
You can use many in positive sentences, but a lot (of) is more usual in spoken English:
* A lot of people (or Many people) drive too fast.
But note that we use too much and so much in positive sentences:
* We spent too much money.
Little and few (without 'a') are negative ideas (= not much/not many):
* We must be quick. There is little time. (= not much, not enough time)
* He isn't popular. He has few friends. (= not many, not enough friends) You can say very little and very few:
* There is very little time.
* He has very few friends.
A little and a few are more positive. A little = some, a small amount:
* Let's go and have a drink. We've got a little time before the train leaves. (a little time = some time, enough time to have a drink)
* '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 did you last see Clare?' 'A few days ago.' (= some days ago)
* 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)
Note that 'only a little' and 'only a few' have a negative meaning:
* We must be quick. We've only got a little time.
* The village was very small. There were only a few houses.
86.1 In some of these sentences much is incorrect or unnatural. Change much to many or a lot (of) where necessary.
1. We didn't spend much money. _RIGHT_
2. Sue drinks much tea. _a lot of tea_
3. Jim always puts much salt on his food.
4. We'll have to hurry. We haven't got much time.
5. Did it cost much to repair the car?
6. 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. They've got so much money they don't know what to do with it.
86.2 Complete the sentences using plenty (of) + one of the following:
hotels money room time to learn things to see
1. There's no need to hurry. _We're got 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 ---.
86.3 Put in much, many, few or little.
1. He isn't very popular. He 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. The museum was very crowded. There were too --- people.
6. Most of the town is modern. There are --- old buildings.
7. The weather has been very dry recently. We've had --- rain.
86.4 Some of these sentences need a. Put in a where necessary. Put 'RIGHT' if the sentence is already complete.
1. She's lucky. She has _few problems._ _RIGHT_
2. Things are not going so well for her. She has _few problems._ _a few problems_
3. Can you lend me _few dollars?_
4. I can't give you a decision yet. I need _little time_ to think.
5. There was _little traffic_, so the journey didn't take very long.
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._
86.5 Put in little/a little/few/a few.
1. We must be quick. We have _little_ time.
2. Listen carefully. I'm going to give you --- advice.
3. Do you mind if I ask you --- questions?
4. This town is 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, please ---.'
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.'
3 a lot of salt
6 a lot
7 many/a lot of
8 a lot
2 plenty of money
3 plenty of room
4 plenty to learn
5 are plenty of things to see
6 There are plenty of hotels.
2 little 3 many
4 much 5 many
6 few 7 little
3 a few dollars
4 a little time
7 only a few words
2 a little 3 a few
4 few 5 little
6 A little
8 a few