Quantifiers with countable nouns

"Many", "a few", "several", "a number of" are words that express quantity for countable nouns.


Quantifiers with countable nouns

New Zealand’s Iridescent Caves

"Ruakuri cave entrance, New Zealand", James Shook (2005), Wikimedia commons

Instructions: Read the text. Look at the words in bold.

Thousands of local and international guests visit New Zealand’s Waitomo Glowworm Caves each year. The iridescent caves, which have been around for centuries, are particularly striking due to many glowworm species that covers the ceilings and lights up the space like stars in the night sky.

In 1887, local Maori Chief Tane Tinorau and English surveyor Fred Mace first explored the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. To navigate the caves, they built a raft of flax stems and floated through, quickly becoming mesmerized by the glowing ceiling. It took many return trips for Tinorau and Mace to discover the cave’s land entrance on the second level.

New Zealand’s Iridescent Caves. Retrieved and adapted April, 2016 from http://all-that-is-interesting.com/new-zealands-iridescent-caves

Getting started: Control over the caves

Instructions: Read the text to do the activity suggested.

In 1889, Tinorau started inviting tourist to visit the caves for a small fee. However, in less than 20 years, some government authorities assumed control over the caves. It wasn’t until nearly a century later that control of the caves was returned to the locals responsible for discovering them. Now, many of the tour guides and workers are descendants of Tinorau and his wife.

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves themselves date back more than 30 million years ago. They consist of two main levels: the upper level, which is dry and allows for ground access, and the lower level, which contains the stream passage and the Cathedral, which is world-renowned for its superb acoustics (due to the rough surface and enclosed shape).

New Zealand’s Iridescent Caves. Retrieved and adapted April, 2016 from http://all-that-is-interesting.com/new-zealands-iridescent-caves

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Instructions: Match the two halves of the sentences.

to returned the control of the caves to the descendants of discoverers.date back a large number of years ago.a few years after they were discovered.

1. Local authorities took control of the caves _______________

2. It took many years, almost a century _______________

3. The Waitomo Glowworm caves _______________

Let’s study Quantifiers with countable nouns.

Instructions: Read about Quantifiers with countable nouns:

A quantifier is a word or phrase which is used to indicate amount or quantity:

The following quantifiers are used with countable nouns.

  • many
  • a few /few
  • a number of
  • several
  • a large number of
  • a great number of
  • a majority of


Oceania is formed by a large number of islands.

There are several and interesting natural attractions in New Zealand.

New Zealand has many volcanic islands.



Instructions: Choose the correct quantifier to complete the following paragraphs.

Māori are the tangata whenua, the indigenous people, of New Zealand. They arrived from their mythical Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki a great number / many of years ago. Today Māori make up 14% of the population and history, language and traditions are central to New Zealand’s identity.

Māori adapted quickly to the extreme climate by utilizing their existing twining and weaving skills to produce korowai (cloaks) and other practical objects such as kete (baskets) and whāriki (mats). The weaving material used by the several / majority of the locals was (and still is) harakeke - otherwise known as New Zealand flax.

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100% Pure New Zealand. Maory Culture. Retrieved and adapted April, 2017 from http://www.newzealand.com/uk/maori-culture/


The origins of the Maori

Instructions: Put the words in order to form a logical sentence.

1. theories / There are / of the Maori / a number of /about the origins .

2. journey through several / Maori / New Zealand/ arrived to / after a long / islands .

3. learnt / food / to grow / many kinds of / Maori .

4. and seals / new creatures / found / a large number of / Maori / like moas .

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Modern days

Instructions: Choose the best options in the following text.

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves attraction has a large / a big population of Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand.


A number of / the majority of companies, large and small, specialise in leading tourists through the caves of the area, from easily accessible areas with hundreds / some of tourists per hour in the peak season, to extreme sports-like crawls into cave systems which are only seen by none / a few tourists each day.


The attraction has a modern visitor centre at the entrance, largely designed in wood. There are organized much / many tours that include a boat ride under the glowworms.

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