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    #1

    Quantifiers

    Hi everyone. 1.Why is "a little" not "much" the correct choice?
    "Can you lend me a little money?" Is it because it's a polite request or what? Because I know that "much" is used in questions not "a little".
    2."I've met her a few times." Can I use "many" instead of "a few".
    3."There's a little space left." Can I use " much" instead of " a little".

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    #2

    Re: Quantifiers

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Tigertiger:

    I cannot answer your great question, but I can share with you some dialogue that I found in the "books" section of Google (I have emphasized some words).


    Eritha said wistfully, "Lilya, would you lend me some money?" ... Lilya smiled and said, "Of course, Pet. How much would you like?"

    "Would you lend me a lot of money?"

    Lilya's smile vanished. "How much is a lot?"


    -- Lloyd Biggle, The Light That Never Was (1999), a novel.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Quantifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by tigertiger View Post
    Because I know that "much" is used in questions not "a little".
    Please stop saying you know things that aren't true. "A little" can be used in questions just as readily as "much", hence what you say is not true, therefore you can not be said to know it. You may legitimately say, "I believe that ... " or "I think that ..." or "Is it true that ...?"

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Quantifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by tigertiger View Post
    2."I've met her a few times." Can I use "many" instead of "a few".
    3."There's a little space left." Can I use " much" instead of " a little".
    I am not a teacher.


    You can use them, but the resulting meanings would be the opposite of the originals.

    Note also that, 'There's much space left' is grammatical but far less natural than, 'There's not much space left'. Again, the meanings are clearly opposites.

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    #5

    Re: Quantifiers


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Tigertiger:

    I have spoken (and listened to) ONLY English for seven decades, so I am 95% confident the following is accurate.

    1. "Can you lend me much money?" is NOT acceptable.

    Why?

    I found a theory given by two scholars. (I do NOT know whether other scholars agree with them.)

    They were NOT discussing your question, but they said that in everyday [ordinary] speech, native speakers do NOT say something such as "I earn much money."

    According to them:

    1. "Much" is a short, one-syllable word.
    2. It does NOT "adequately reflect the meaning of a large quantity."
    3. Longer expressions such as "a lot of" and "a large amount of" are "much better suited to render this meaning."

    *****

    I believe that I am accurate in saying that the following questions are acceptable to native speakers:

    a. Can you lend me some money? (Maybe $25?)
    b. Can you lend me a little money? (Maybe $5?)
    c. Can you lend me a lot of money? (Maybe $100?)
    d. Can you lend me a large amount of money? (Maybe $1,000?)
    e. Do you make much / a lot of money? (But for some reason that I cannot explain, "Can you lend me much money?" is strange and unacceptable.)


    Source: Radden and Dirven, Cognitive English Grammar (2007). Accessed in the "books" section of Google.

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