Talking About Quantity

We use quantity to tell us how much or how many. There are many different ways to talk about quantity.


The simplest way to talk about quantity is to use numbers.

1 apple. 3 apples. 20 apples.
You can only use numbers with countable nouns. Learn more about countable and uncountable nouns.

Units of Measurement

You can use units of measurement to talk about the quantity of countable and uncountable nouns. Units of measurement are often used for food and drinks.

Grams (g) and Kilograms (kg)

We use grams and kilograms to talk about solid items. You will see grams and kilograms used on food packaging.

One kilogram of sugar.

Half a kilo of apples.

500 grams of sugar.

‘Kilo’ is a short form of ‘kilogram’. It is often used in speech, but not in writing.
1000g = 1kg If you are talking about 1000 grams or more, use kilograms instead.

Millilitres (mL) and Litres (L)

We use millilitres and litres to talk about liquids. You will see millilitres and litres used on drink packaging.

One litre of water.

Half a litre of milk.

250ml of juice.

It is common to say ‘mills’ as the short form of millilitres. This is only used in speech, not writing.

1000mL = 1L

If you are talking about 1000 millilitres or more, use litres instead.

Other Words to Talk About Quantity

There are a lot of other words we can use to talk about quantity. There are some common examples below.

QuantityExample Sentence
glassA glass of water.
bottleA bottle of wine.
cupA cup of coffee.
jugA jug of milk.
cartonA carton of juice.
packetA packet of biscuits.
boxA box of cereal.
canA can of beans.
pieceA piece of cake.
sliceA slice of pizza.
tubA tub of ice-cream.
jarA jar of honey.

Examples of Common Quantity Words

Talking About Quantities that are Not Specific

We use numbers and units of measurement to talk about quantity when we know exactly how much of something there is.

If you don’t know the exact quantity, you can use words like ‘some’, ‘a few’, and ‘a lot’. These words are called quantifiers.

Some apples.

A few apples.

A lot of apples.