Today we’ve got lots of quantifiers for you. What are quantifiers and how do you use them in English? Find out in this episode of Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig.
Transcriptions of selected episodes are being written by Arminda from Madrid and are available on inglespodcast.com for all our listeners
Audio feedback from Eugeny from Barcelona. He’s an English teacher and he’s asked us to analyse his message and pronunciation:
“Spanish speakers X
doX (make) these mistakes”
I enjoy very much”X – “I enjoy THEM (the podcasts) very much”
I can doX” (What can I do to improve?) (In an indirect question it’s the correct order: “Please tell me what I can do to improve…”
“Thank you for X
allX (everything) or “Thank you for all that you do” ( We spoke about the difference between ‘all’ and ‘everything’ in Episode 123 )
Pronunciation: Good word stress: I find them very USEFUL / FIRST OF ALL congratulations…
Very fluent. Yes, there’s a Spanish accent, but it doesn’t not interfere at all with understanding.
Perhaps you could practise weak forms “been” – “bin” “I’ve /bin/ listening…. And the schwa:
And connected speech: not “first-of-all” But /firsteval/
An email from Marcelo Fernandez from Argentina
Dear Craig an Reza. I fell in love with your podcast. I can’t help looking it up on ivoox every week. Would you be so kind (as) to explain this?
There are at least two songs that use”don’t” in the third person. “Sussudio” sung by Phil Collins (…she don’t even know my name…) and “Ticket to ride” by The Beatles (…but she don’t care…)
When is that possible? Does it have a special meaning? Hoping to listen to you once more I thank you in advance from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Marcelo
Quantifiers – Not all of them, but a few of them!
One of / a few of / some of / most of / all of / none of
A few of our podcasts are about grammar
Most of Reza’s students passed the CAE exam. Not all of them, but 74% – most of them. Unfortunately, some of them didn’t pass.
Reza ate some of the cheese, but not all of it.
One of our podcasts is about how to tell a story in English (Episode 137) One……is (not X
areX) / A few of our podcasts ARE about grammar.
Some of our podcasts have special guests
Most of our podcasts have vocabulary translated in the show notes
All of our podcasts are available on itunes!
None of our podcasts are in French
Can you give more examples?
One of / a few of / some of / Most of / All of / None of
Pronunciation of /of/
What happens with countable/uncountable nouns?
Here are some colloquial quantifiers:
plenty of (biscuits) heaps of (room in our flat) a load of (rubbish) loads of (people) tons of (potatoes in the oven)
a couple of (mistakes) hundreds of (people in the street)
Some quantifiers can be used only with uncountable nouns:
a little (money – uncountable)
A few (euros – countable)
(not) much (traffic – “There wasn’t much traffic on the roads this morning.” – uncountable)
many (“We have many listeners” – countable)
a bit of (cake)
a great deal of (money)
a good deal of (snow)
a little / little – “She has little experience in customer service.” “She has a little experience in customer service.”
a few / few – “There were a few students in my class today.” / “There were few students in my first class today.” (Not many)
Improve your speaking with an italki teacher
How much money have you got?
How many friends have you got?
Do you like any of your students?
How many of our listeners do you think live in Spain?
Audio feedback from Gabriel from Tijuana
Gabriel, the new microphone sounds a lot better! – No one like the way their voice sounds. That shouldn’t stop anyone from practicing English and sending us a message.
Thanks for allX – “Thanks for everything.”
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. Do you have a question for us or an idea for a future episode?
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION by Arminda from Madrid (Thank you so much!)
Today we’ve got lots of quantifiers for you. What are quantifiers? And how do you use them in English? Find out in this episode of “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig”.
Hello I’m Craig and I’m Reza, and if you are a new listener to this podcast you’re very welcome. With over forty-five years of teaching between us, we’ll help you to improve your English and take it, where, Reza? To the next level. We’re going to grow your grammar, vocalize your vocabulary and perfect your pronunciation. Before we begin, we’d like to remind you that transcriptions of selected episodes of “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig” are being written as we speak by Arminda from Madrid and they are available on our website at inglespodcast.com for all of our listeners. Thank you Arminda for your time. Thank you very, very much, Arminda.
Reza, do we have any feedback this week?
We do, we have some feedback from Eugeny, from Barcelona. He’s an English teacher and he’s asked us to analyse his message and pronunciation.
Analyse his message and pronunciation, well, let’s do it.
Hi, there! I’m Eugeny, from Barcelona and I’ve been listening to your podcast for some months. I found out and I started and find them very interesting, very useful. First of all, congratulations! You do it very well. I enjoy very much. So, the thing is that, in fact, I’m an English teacher. As you can see or as you can know, I’m struggling with pronunciation right now, and this kind of thing, trying to sound better and better and for this reason I enjoy very much when you are talking about pronunciation, when you analyse one sound, the other sound, Spanish speakers do these mistakes and this, for me, is perfect. For this reason, also, I would be very grateful if you analyse my message. What are my pronunciation mistakes? What I can do to improve my pronunciation at this moment. So, thank you for all, for your podcast and I will be very grateful if you can make the effort to analyse my comment, my voice message. So, have a very nice day, very nice Christmas and see you soon or I listen to you soon.
Thank you very much for your voice message. Reza, any comments on the pronunciation or any other points that you noticed in the message.
Well, I thought it was extremely good, actually, very, very good. But I did notice one or two things which, I guess, you might like to perfect, Eugeny. As regards grammar, you made a mistake when you said “do mistake”, ironically. It’s not “do” it’s “make a mistake”. Make collocates with mistake, make a mistake, “cometer un error”. Also, Craig, something with the word can seemed wrong to me, did you get that?
Yeah. The mistake was “what I can do”. It should be “what can I do to improve”, “what can I do to improve”. In an indirect question the correct order would be “please tell me what I can do to improve” and in the direct question “what can I do to improve?”. So, the order changes. Another problem with “enjoy”. “Enjoy” needs an object. You said “I enjoy very much”, “I enjoy them very much”, them are the podcasts, so, “I enjoy the podcasts very much”. You can have a reflexive object, you can say “I enjoy myself when I listen to the podcast”, “They enjoy themselves” buy you must have an object with enjoy. And one final thing. At the end of the message you said “Thank you for all” which is a translation from Spanish “gracias por todo”, “thank you for everything” or, you can say, “thank you for all that you do”. We spoke about the differences between “all” and “everything” back in episode 123, so, to listen to that, go to inglespodcast.com/123. Let’s move on to pronunciation, Reza, did you hear anything in Eugeny’s pronunciation that could be improved?
Yes, I heard a little bit of confusion between “this” and “these”. The singular, this, and the plural, these. So, the singular, this book, for example, is short “e” and “s” sound, with no vibration, this, whereas the plural, these books, is a long sound, “e” and with vibration “s”, these books. And, there were times when I wasn’t quite sure which you were using, Eugeny. So, maybe you should exaggerate the difference a bit more. Singular, this; plural, these.
I really like your word stress, Eugeny, with expressions like: I find them very useful, you stressed useful, which I liked. And, also you said: First of all, congratulations! You stressed that “first of all” which is very good. And you were generally very fluent when you spoke. Yes, there’s a Spanish accent but it does not interfere with understanding, I understood everything. So, I think it’s quite normal to have a small slight Spanish accent when you speak but it’s only a problem when communication is affected, when people don’t understand you. So, I had no problems at all understanding you. Perhaps, if you want to make your pronunciation a little more native speaker sounding, you could work on the weak forms, for example, in words like “been”, b-ee-n, in connected speech that’s often pronounced “bin”. For example, I’ve been listening, I’ve been listening. And, also the […], that weak form sound of […] in connected speech, for example, “first of all” would be “first of all”, “first of all”.
There’s just one more thing I’d like to say, Eugeny, and that was: be careful with the letter “v”, like “voice message”, “mensaje de voz”. So, in English “v” is not like Spanish. To say “voice” you must put your upper teeth on your bottom lip. Don’t put your lips together, it’s the teeth on top of the lips, “voice”, “Valencia”. Or, letter “b”, lips together like “Barcelona” or “bat, “murciélago”, is not the same sound in English. And we find it very easy, as native speakers, to make a difference. Maybe it’s hard for Spanish speakers to hear the difference. But it’s quite important for us. So, just be careful with the “v”, with vibration, “voice message”, with your teeth on your lips.
But, generally speaking, very, very good message, very good pronunciation. I hope you find that comments useful and thank you very much, Eugeny, for your message.
We’ve also received an email from Marcelo Fernández, from Argentina. Reza, what does Marcelo say?
He wrote: Dear Craig and Reza. I fell in love with your podcast. I can’t help looking it up on Ivoox every week. “I can’t help” means he can’t stop himself.
And Ivoox, if you don’t know, it’s like the Spanish Itunes, it’s a way to listen to podcasts for free in the internet, i-v-oo-x.
He asks: would you be so kind to explain this. You need to add the word, Marcelo, “as”, would you be so kind as to explain this, to be so kind as to explain, with infinitive after as. He writes: there are at least two songs that use the word “don’t” in the third person. Sussudio, sung by Phil Collins, “she don’t even know my name” … and Ticket to ride by The Beatles, she got a ticket to ride but she don’t care. “She don’t care”. Now, Phil Collins and The Beatles, shame on you! Your grammar is wrong!
Why isn’t it “doesn’t”? It should be “doesn’t?
Yeah! He asks, Marcelo asks: when is that possible? Does it have a special meaning? Hoping to listen to you once more, I thank you in advance from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Marcelo.
Well, the simple answer is: It is technically wrong but, Marcelo, you’ll hear it a lot in pop music. It’s quite common in pop music. But why, Craig? Why do they do it in pop music?
Well, you would know Reza, because you’re a musician and it’s to do with the beats and the […], it’s to do with the rhythm and the […]. Because if you think about it, how many syllables does “doesn’t” have? Two. How many syllables does “don’t” have? One. So, it takes longer to say “she doesn’t care” to “she don’t care”. And it affects the rhythm of the music, so I think that’s the reason, I’m pretty sure that’s why.
I would say that’s the main reason and also, it just kind of sounds cool, Marcelo. People associate, when you get the grammar wrong, “she don’t live here” or “she don’t know my name”, it’s cool, it’s sounds cooler. It sounds informal, cool, street language.
Yes, street language and slang but also probably fits, “encaja major”, it fits with the beats with the music and the rhythm of the song.
Marcelo, our advice to you is though: Don’t do it yourself. So, yes, continue to listen to pop music, and me and Craig also listen to pop music, with “she don’t”, but don’t try to copy it. You should do it the right way, she doesn’t. That’s our advice.
Quantifiers. There are a lot of them, aren’t there, Craig?
There are quite a few. So, we are going to look at some quantifiers, not all of them, but a few of them. What quantifiers can we think of? What are quantifiers? What do you think?
Well, the word quantify, probably comes from the word quantity. So, a quantifier tells you the quantity, “la cantidad”. So, a quantifier tells you quantity, it’s as simple as that!
For example, there’s only one Reza. There’s one of him.
And the same as two for Craig.
When they made Reza, they broke the mould, which means there’s only one of Reza. So, “one of”.
Don’t worry, that’s probably good news for you because one is more than enough. It’s too much.
However, speaking about our podcasts, if you go to Itunes, you will see that there are quite a few of them. So, “a few of” is another quantifier, a few of. Remember, that “of” becomes weak and the “a” becomes […], so, that’s weak, so, the pronunciation is “a few of”, “a few of them”.
That would be like “unos pocos”, yeah?
What about “some of”. For me “some of” means that it’s a portion but not a hundred percent. For example, some of the students passed and some of the students failed, unfortunately.
In Reza’s case, last term, most of his students passed the Advanced exam.
It’s true. I’m very happy. Well done if you happen to be listening to me. Congratulations to all of you.
Was it more than seventy-five percent passed?
But, it’s definitively most of them. Some of them didn’t pass but most of them did.
But not all of them.
But not all of them.
Not a hundred percent.
Not all of them.
So, “some of”, in Spanish they are meant “algunos, algunos de mis estudiantes”. But, some of, can also be uncountable, for example, “Reza ate some of the cheese but not all of the cheese”. “Reza comió algo de queso pero no todo”. So, cheese, “queso” is uncountable. So, you can use some to mean plural countable or uncountable. So, in Spanish “algunos, algunas” or “algo de”. It has both meanings.
And how do you say “ninguno, ninguno”?
None of. So, the opposite of “all of” is “none of”. So, “none of the students got a very, very bad mark, all of them got a reasonable mark”.
So, speaking of podcasts with these examples we could say one of our podcasts is about how to tell a story in English. That was episode 137. And remember, you say one of our podcasts is about, not one of our podcasts are. Because although “podcasts” is plural, we are speaking about one of them. So, the subject is singular: one of our podcasts is about how to tell a story.
But if you use a few of, well, then you will use a plural verb. A few of our podcasts are about grammar. A few … are. “Unos pocos son”.
Some. Some of our podcasts have special guests. Some of them. “Algunos”.
Can you remember [..] any of our special guests? Can we remind them, Craig?
Bea has been a regular, we’ve had Bea a few times. We’ve had Nicola. We’ve had Mike. Martin.
Martin a couple of times, yeah.
Lots of special guests. We have to get more guests come on. So, people are getting bored. I think some of our listeners are getting bored of our voices. Most of our podcasts, not all, but most of our podcasts have vocabulary translated in the show notes. Most of them.
So, that’s more than fifty percent.
Ok. All of our podcasts are available on Itunes. A hundred percent, all of them.
However, none of our podcasts are in French.
“Aucun” or “aucune”. I don’t know if podcast is “masculin” or “féminin”. If it’s “masculine” I’d say “aucun”, if it’s “féminin” I’d say “aucune”. Can you help me any French speakers out there? I apologize for that very bad French accent.
“Très bien, mon ami”. Remember the pronunciation of “of”. It becomes weak, “of”. So, “one of”, “a few of”, “some of”, “most of”, “all of” and “none of”, “none of them”.
Yes, exactly. Craig says it becomes weak, quite right! So, the thing is it becomes weak, weak. So, don’t force it to be weak, because that won’t work. The whole point is don’t pay too much attention to it. That’s a better way of linking […]. Instead of saying one [..], don’t do that, just kind of forget about the word “of”. That’s the way you get it. You could say “one of us”, think of the, concentrate on the word “one” and then, for example, “one of us”, concentrate on “us”. One, us and forget about “of”, “one of us”. That’s how you’ll get the weak pronunciation. Not by thinking “oh, I must make a special effort to make the word “of” weak”. No, don’t look at it that way. Look at it this way, the important words are “one” and “us”. So, forget about “of”, it’s not very important. That’s the way to get the right sound.
And if you listen very carefully, it almost sounds like one complete word, for example “one of us”, “oneofus”. It sounds like one word.
The same with “a few of us”, it sounds like one word.
Here are some colloquial quantifiers, because there are some expressions with quantifiers that are used more in spoken English than written English, and they ‘re more informal, more casual, more colloquial. For example, plenty, with of. So, plenty of. There are plenty of biscuits. There are plenty of people.
There are heaps of room in our flat.
“Montones, mogollón”, in Spanish. I know people in South America don’t say that and they find it funny.
What do they say?
Other things, I don’t know. But, it’s only in Spain they say “mogollón”. “Había mucha gente? Mogollón”. Heaps of people.
So, what do you say in Latin America for “heaps of something”, “a lot of something”. Heap is h-e-a-p-s, heaps of this, heaps of room in our flat or there are heaps of listeners listening to this show. How would you say that in Latin America? Please, let us know.
As you all know, I often speak a load of rubbish.
So, how would we […] “a load of”. So, the real meaning of “load” is “una carga”. But that’s not a good translation here. It’s a colloquial meaning of “a load of”. “Mucha, mucha tontería”. Rubbish is “tontería”.
“Montón” as well.
“Montón de tonterías”.
What a load of rubbish!
A lot, so, “a load of” is a lot.
And a similar expression is “loads of”, with an “s”. So, you can say “a load of”, a load of rubbish, or you can say “loads of rubbish”. Again the “of” becomes weak, “débil”. So, it’s “loads of”, “loads of rubbish” or “loads of people”. There were loads of people at the party.
Tons of, is another colloquial expression. Now, we know “tons of” is “toneladas” but that’s not what it really means when you say it colloquially. It just means “a lot”. There were tons of potatoes in the oven. Again, “mogollón, muchísimos”.
There were tons of people at the firework display. “A couple of” is another common quantifier. I made a couple of mistakes, “algunos”, a few, I made a couple of mistakes.
“Un par de” could be as well. “Un par de errores”, a couple of mistakes. The word couple also has the meaning of “una pareja”. Peter and Sally are a couple, “una pareja”, is another meaning of couple.
And many mistakes. You could say hundreds, maybe not literally, hundreds, you haven’t counted them, but it means a lot, “mucho, muchos”. So, there were hundreds of potatoes, for example. Or there were hundreds of people in the street. There are some quantifiers that can only be used with uncountable nouns. Aren’t there, Reza, for example?
A little, “un poco”. A little money, a little cheese, a little love, a little happiness. All those words: money, cheese, love, happiness are uncountable. So, a little plus uncountable. So, a little money, “un poco de dinero”. What is the countable version of a little? A little is uncountable, so if we’re talking about countable, how do we say “unos pocos libros”?
Ok. So, a little uncountable and a few countable. They basically have the same meaning but one is uncountable and the other is countable.
Exactly. And another quantifier to use with uncountable nouns is much or the opposite not much. So, with traffic, for example, obviously, traffic is uncountable, because cars are countable, lorries, vans, motorbikes, buses are countable; traffic uncountable. Much traffic or not much traffic. So, there wasn’t much traffic on the road this morning.
Or Reza doesn’t have much money.
Neither does Craig.
And the countable version of much is many. Reza and Craig, we hope, have many listeners, “muchos oyentes”. So, much uncountable, many countable.
If you have a chocolate cake, you’re very, very lucky and to ask for a piece of that cake because cake is uncountable, you could use “a bit of” or “a piece of”. So, could I have a bit of cake? Again, “a” and “of” very weak, “a bit of”, “a bit of cake”. Can I have a bit of cake? Or, can I have a piece of cake?
“A great deal of” is another common expression. A great deal of money means a lot of money, much money.
Somebody, didn’t you hear, somebody won a great deal. Wow, many people won a great deal of money on the lottery this year in Spain. “El gordo”. Some people from Valencia.
Torrent, wasn’t it?
Torrent, yes. They won a great deal of money. So, good luck to them. And in some parts of Spain, at the moment, you can find a good deal of snow. A good deal is also “una cantidad bastante, bastante cantidad”. A good deal. A good deal of snow on the ground.
So, a great deal and a good deal is the same thing, pretty much, right?
We talked about a little, and what about little? Are they the same, a little, with “a”, little, with no “a”? Is there any difference?
No. There is a difference. Let’s look at the example: She has little experience in customer service. “Tiene poca experiencia”. She has little. “No tiene mucha”. She has little experience.
It doesn’t sound very optimistic, it doesn’t sound very good.
No, she doesn’t have a lot, she does not have much, she has little. But “a little” changes the meaning. She has a little experience in customer service. “Tiene un poco de experiencia”. She has a little.
Oh. That might be useful then, even though it’s just a little.
Not a lot, not a great deal, but she has a little.
Better than nothing.
It sounds more optimistic, right? With “a”.
There’s a similar difference in meaning with “a few” and “few”. For example, there were a few students in my class today. “Había algunos pocos”. There were few students in my class today. “No muchos”, not many.
Rather than “unos pocos”.
So, “a few”, not bad, you know. “Few”, bad.
Craig, could you tell us about our sponsor Italki?
With pleasure. I’d love speaking about Italki because Reza and I both think that, if you’re listening to this podcast, you obviously want to improve your English. And if you find it difficult to get to a language School, if you don’t have the money, sometimes, to pay the fees, “las tasas”, of a language School, it might be more convenient for you and maybe cheaper to learn English on line using Skype with our sponsor Italki. Does it cost a lot? It doesn’t cost much, but you do, you can choose the amount you pay because you go to the website and you choose a teacher. So, you do have teachers that are charging, say, nine, maybe ten euros per hour and, of course, you have teachers with a lot more experience that are charging, perhaps, twenty or twenty-five euros. So, you basically choose the teacher that you can afford and the teacher that best suits your needs as a student. If you’d like more information, go to inglespodcast.com/italki where you will get one free lesson if you sign up using our website. And Reza and I would both like to say thank you to Italki for sponsoring “Aprender inglés con Reza y Craig”.
Craig, I’ve already told you that I don’t have much money. How much money have you got?
Not a lot. I don’t have much money. In fact, I have less money now than I had last year.
That’s not good.
That’s not good but that’s ok. I’m not complaining.
But, have you got many friends?
Yes, I’m very reach in the friend department. I don’t have, actually I don’t have many friends but the friends I do have are very, very good. So, I have a few friends, that’s positive, I have a few friends but the friends I do have, are very, very good friends. Do you like any of your students?
I like all of my students.
Really. I like some more than others but I like them all.
Reza, how many of our listener do you think live in Spain? All of them or some of them?
Is it about half or is it most of them?
It’s more than half, it’s most of them.
Most of them.
Most of our listeners live in Spain.
But still, still, quite a few, “bastantes”, quite a few; if I add the word “quite” to “a few”, so, “a few” is positive, “few” negative, “a few” positive meaning, so, “quite a few”, “bastantes”, quite a few live outside Spain. A minority but quite a few. We read feedback, today, from Buenos Aires, for example.
Actually, if you think about it, we’re getting a disproportionate amount of feedback from our listeners from outside Spain, because we get so many voice messages from Costa Rica, from Mexico, form Argentina, from many Latin America countries. So, come on Spain! You have to give us more audio feedback, you have to call us on speakpipe so your percentage represents the feedback we get. But it’s wonderful to hear from all of you.
And just to make you, Spanish listeners, feel a little bit guilty, “tener sentido de culpabilidad”, right now we’re going to put another audio feedback from Gabriel, from Tijuana, Mexico. So, come on Spanish people, give us some more audio feedback. Let’s listen to Gabriel, from Tijuana.
Hi, Reza and Craig. This is Gabriel from Tijuana, again. You are correct, I’m the same person from the old messenger. I’m trying to use, I try to use a different microphone because I don’t like how my voice sounds in the other. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I feel like a child because for me it’s difficult to speak in English. But I try, I try to tell you that your program, your podcast is great because it’s very helpful for the people who want to speak English. Thanks for all. See you next time.
Gabriel, thank again for your feedback and don’t be shy. If you want to send us a feedback every week, go ahead, no problem. The more, the better.
I just want to say, Gabriel, first thanks for your message and secondly the microphone sounds a lot better, much better than the one before. So, thank you for upgrading, which means improving, on than new microphone. And by the way, no one, pretty much no one or almost no one likes the way their voice sounds when they record their voice. That’s because when you hear your voice in your head it’s vibrating around your bones in your head, it’s vibrating around your skull and you’re listening to your voice inside your head. It sounds completely different when you record your voice and your voice goes outside and then comes in your ears from the computer. So, of course, it sounds strange. That’s not me! That’s not my voice! So, don’t worry, nobody likes their voice, because it sounds completely different.
Gabriel, can we correct one little mistake you made? It’s not all, thanks for all, it should be thanks for everything. As Craig said earlier, “gracias por todo” is thanks for everything and thank you.
And thank you for recording your voice message. Now, it’s your turn to practice. Do you have a question for us about English, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, anything you like? Or maybe you have an idea for a future podcast episode. Send us your voice messages and tell us what you think. You can do that on speakpipe.com, s-p-e-a-k-p-i-p-e/inglespodcast or by email to me firstname.lastname@example.org or to me Reza at email@example.com. And if you’d like more detailed show notes or just to support us on Patreon, go to patreon.com/inglespodcast.
It continues in the show notes…