Quantifiers & dangling modifiers
Express your ideas clearly and accurately. Don’t be put off by the grammatical terms, rather focus on the ways you can correct your mistakes in grammar.
Use of quantifiers
Quantifiers are words that go before nouns and modify them. They show how much or how many of something, e.g. many, a few, few, several, plenty. In order to know which quantifier to use, you must know whether the noun is countable or uncountable.
For example, less is used with a quantity of something that you can’t count.
There is less milk than I’d like there to be.
While fewer is used with a quantity of something you can count.
There are fewer than 20 students in my class.
Here are some of the quantifiers that can be used with countable nouns:
|several||a couple of|
|fewer than||a number of|
Here are some of the quantifiers that can be used with uncountable nouns:
|a great deal of||not much|
|a bit of||a good deal of|
Some quantifiers work with both countable and uncountable nouns:
|Countable and uncountable nouns|
|a lot of||plenty of|
|a lack of||all of|
|enough||lots of (only used informally)|
Practise using quantifiers with this activityActivity
A modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that clarifies or describes another word, phrase, or clause. Sometimes writers use modifiers incorrectly, leading to strange and unintentionally humorous sentences.
Running for the bus, my book fell in the mud.
This is incorrect because it was the person who ran for the bus, not the book.
While I was running for the bus, my book fell in the mud.
Practice using dangling modifiers with this activity.Activity
This work includes material from the following sources:
The Saylor Foundation. (2013). Writing for success. Retrieved from http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Writing%20for%20Success.pdf Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.