**Expressing/ the undefined Quantity **

**MULTITUDE OR MAGNITUDE**

**In English with Determiners, Quantifiers**

All these adjectives or pronouns refer/are in relation to a quantity

that may (or may not) be known to a person.

##### Aristolaos 2011, Posted 2015Edit

** **

The following definitions/topics (all, some, a few, a little, many, much, more, fewer, less) are as they appear in English Usage. Translation to other languages is made according to the use of equivalents

** **

**All**** **(opposite/negative of none):

For countable (numerable) nouns (denoting “multitude, plurality”), and uncountable (measurable) nouns (denoting “magnitude”).

Absolute/unambiguous/unambivalent/explicit/specified/positive/defined quantity, on the one hand, as it defines the “whole” without exception, or undefined, on the other, as it does not define “how much/many”.

A sum/quantity referred to/covering the whole (sum/group/total/amount) of a quantity (multitude or magnitude).

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) the exact “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) the exact “whole”.

Whole, without exempting or leaving anything out (omitting anything), not some

e.g *there were 10 copies, and all were old,* or, without knowing the exact quantity, *all ships must …*

// definite, not vague, not approximately.

*Quantifier; used with either mass or count nouns (i.e. with magnitude or multitude) to indicate the whole number or amount of or every one of a class*

** A few **(opposite /antonym: many)

**:**

For countable/numerable nouns (denoting “multitude”, “plurality”)

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity without defining “how many”.

A sum much less than half of the whole (of a total/sum/quantity/group) of a quantity (multitude).

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) this exact quantity or the “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) this exact quantity or the “whole”.

A small portion/part.

e.g *there were 10 copies, but a few (out of 10) were old,* not defining e.g. 2 or 3 were old, or, without knowing the exact quantity, *a few ships must …*)

//undefined, vague.

*More than one but indefinitely small in number*

**None**** **(opposite/negative: all)**:**

For countable/numerable nouns (denoting “multitude”, “plurality”)

Absolute/unambiguous/unambivalent/explicit/specified/positive/defined quantity, on the one hand, as it defines the “whole” without exception, or undefined, on the other, as it does not define “how many”.

A sum/quantity referred to/covering the whole (sum/group/total) of a quantity (multitude).

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) the exact “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) the exact “whole”.

No-one, without exempting or leaving anything out (omitting anything), not some

e.g *there were 10 copies, but none were/was new* or, without knowing the exact quantity, *none of the ships must …*

// definite, not vague, not approximately.

** Some**: (opposite /antonym: much/many)

**:**

For countable (numerable) nouns (denoting “multitude, plurality”), and uncountable (measurable) nouns (denoting “magnitude”).

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity, without defining “how much or how many”.

A quantity usually less than half of the whole (total /sum/amount) of a quantity (multitude or magnitude).

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) this exact quantity or the “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) this exact quantity or the “whole”.

A small portion/part/amount //adv. sort of, around, about, approximately, somehow, somewhat

e.g *there were 10 copies, but some (out of 10) were old,* not specifying exactly how many, that e.g. 3 or 4 were old, or *there was flour, but some (of it) was old* not defining exactly how much, or, without knowing the exact quantity, *some ships …, some sugar …*

//unfefined, unclear, vague

*Quantifier; used with either mass nouns or plural count nouns (i.e. with magnitude or multitude) to indicate an unspecified quantity*

**A little**** **(opposite /antonym: much)**: **

For uncountable/measurable nouns (denoting "magnitude”)

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite quantity without defining “how much”.

A quantity much smaller than half of the whole (of an amount) of a quantity (magnitude).

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) this exact quantity or the “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) this exact quantity or the “whole”.

A very small portion/part/amount //adv. a little

e.g *there was flour, but a little (of it) was old,* not defining exactly how much, that .eg. 1 or ½ cup was old, or, without knowing the exact quantity, *a little sugar...*

//unfefined, unclear, vague, ambiguous

** Many **(opposite /antonym: a few)

**:**

For countable/numerable nouns (denoting “multitude, plurality”)

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity, without defining the number /“how many”.

A quantity usually larger than half of the whole (total /sum/amount) of a quantity (multitude, plurality).

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) this exact quantity (number) or the “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) this exact quantity or the “whole”.

A lot (of), a large number (of), a very big or the bigger portion (of)/a very big or the bigger part (of)

e.g *there were 10 copies, but many (out of 10) were old,* not specifying exactly the number/how many, that e.g. 7 or 9 were old, or, without knowing the exact quantity, *many ships ….*

//unfefined, unclear, vague, ambiguous

*A quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by 'as' or 'too' or 'so' or 'that'; amounting to a large but indefinite number*

** Much **(opposite /antonym: a little):

For uncountable/measurable nouns (denoting "magnitude”)

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite quantity without defining “how much”.

A quantity much more than half of the whole (of an amount) of a quantity (magnitude).

A lot (of), a large amount (of), a very big or the bigger portion/a big or the bigger part, not all //adv much

e.g *there was flour, but much (of it) was old,* not defining exactly the quantity “how much”, that .e.g. 7 or 9 cups (of it) was old, or, without knowing the exact quantity, *much sugar...*

//unfefined, unclear, vague, ambiguous

*quantifier used with mass nouns) great in quantity, degree or extent. *

**More**** **(opposite/antonym: fewer (countable) or less (uncountable):

Comparative of *much* and *many*.

For countable (numerable) nouns (denoting “multitude, plurality”), and uncountable (measurable) nouns (denoting “magnitude”).

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity, without defining exactly “how much or how many”.

A quantity larger than another quantity, whole (sum/ total/number/amount), compared, of multitude/plurality or magnitude

Bigger portion, bigger part (than) //also as an adverb.

e.g *There were 10 copies, but more were needed;* not specifying exactly how many, e.g. 11 or 12. etc. or *there was flour but more was needed* not defining exactly how much)

//indefinite, unclear, vague, ambiguous

*Comparative of 'many and much' used with countable and mass nouns (a quantifier meaning greater in size, amount, extent or degree*

**Most **(opposite /antonym: fewest and least)

Superlative of *much* and *many*.

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity, without defining exactly “how much or how many”.

A quantity much larger or much more than half of another quantity compared of a sum/whole ( total/number/amount) of multitude/plurality or magnitude.

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) this exact quantity and/or the “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) this exact quantity and/or the “whole”.

More than more, the largest/biggest portion/part (of)//*adverb* most

//indefinite, vague, ambiguous

e.g *There were 10 copies, but most (of them)were old;* not specifying exactly how many, e.g. 8 or 9. etc. or *there was flour but most (of it) was old* not defining exactly how much.

*Superlative of 'many and much' used with countable and mass nouns (a quantifier meaning the greatest part, amount, extent or degree.*

Note:

"More" and "Most" the irregular comparatives of "many" and "much"

Usage

When modifying a noun/substance (quantifiers)

Comparative ‘more’ means that a quantity exceeds an existing quantity (eg 10 + 1), while superlative ‘most’ is within it (eg 10-1) e.g. more people, more water (than the existing), most people, most water (of the existing).

When modifying adjectives or adverbs (property, quality).

Comparative ‘more’ means that a quality exceeds the same quality of another entity, while superlative ‘most’ means that a quality exceeds the same quality of more than two entities e.g. more beautiful (than), most beautiful (of the three, of all, in the town), See also Comparison, Grammatical Particles

**Fewer'*** (opposite of/ antonym: more):'*

Comparative of (a) *few*.

For countable (numerable) nouns (denoting “multitude, plurality”).

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity, without defining exactly “how many”.

A quantity smaller/less than another quantity, whole (sum/ total/number) compared, of multitude/plurality.

Smaller portion, smaller part /number (than) //adverb ______.

e.g *There were 10 copies, but fewer were needed;* not specifying exactly how many, e.g. 8 or 9. etc.

//indefinite, unclear, vague, ambiguous

*comparative of 'few' used with count nouns; quantifier meaning a smaller number of*

**Fewest**

Superlative of *(a) few.*

For countable (numerable) nouns (denoting “multitude, plurality”).

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity, without defining exactly “how many”.

A quantity much smaller or much less than half of another quantity compared of a sum/whole ( total/number/amount) of multitude/plurality.

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) this exact quantity and/or the “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) this exact quantity and/or the “whole”.

Less than less, more than more, the smallest/least portion/part (of)//*adverb* ____

e.g *There were 10 copies, but (the) fewest (of them) were new;* not specifying exactly how many, e.g. 1 or 2. etc.

//indefinite, vague, ambiguous

*Superlative of 'few' used with count nouns and usually preceded by 'the') quantifier meaning the smallest in number*

**Less'*** (opposite of/ antonym: more):'*

Comparative of *(a) little*.

For uncountable (measurable) nouns (denoting “magnitude”).

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite quantity, without defining exactly “how much”.

A quantity smaller/less than another quantity/ whole compared, of multitude.

Smaller portion, smaller part (than) //adverb: less.

e.g *There was sugar *(e.g 10 kilos), *but less was needed;* not specifying exactly how much, e.g. 8 or 9 kilos

//indefinite, unclear, vague, ambiguous

*Comparative of 'little' (usually used with mass nouns) a quantifier meaning not as great in amount or degree*

**Least**** **(opposite/antonym: most)

Superlative of *(a) little*.

For uncountable (measurable) nouns (denoting “magnitude”).

Undefined/vague/ambiguous/unspecified/indefinite sum/quantity, without defining exactly “how much”.

A quantity much smaller or much less than half of another quantity compared or not of a whole (total /amount) of magnitude.

A definite/defined/specified quantity on the one hand, when one knows (of) this exact quantity and/or the “whole”, or indefinite/undefined/unspecified quantity (vague, or not clearly defined or stated) on the other, when one does not know (of) this exact quantity and/or the “whole”.

Less than less, the smallest portion/part (of)//*adverb* **least**

e.g *There was sugar* (e.g. 10 kilos), *but (the) least of it was needed,* not specifying exactly how much (e.g. ½ or 1 kilo. etc)

//indefinite, vague, ambiguous

*The superlative of 'little' that can be used with mass nouns and is usually preceded by 'the'; a quantifier meaning smallest in amount, extent or degree*

*NOTE: The exact/definite quantity expressed by all above adjectives or pronouns (quantifiers) may be known by the speaker(s), e.g. George knows (or not) the exact quantity (multitude or magnitude) (3 or 7 books out of 10 ; 3 or 7 kilos out of 10 etc), he uses such a quantifier (determiner) though.*