An ELT Glossary : Quantifiers and Quantifier Floating

  • Definition : A quantifier is a word or phrase which refers to a noun, generally precedes a noun (but see Quantifier Floating below), and indicates amount - how many or how much.

  • Examples :  a few, a lot, plenty of, several, all, both, each

  • Quantifier floating occurs only with all, both and each and is the process by which a subject related quantifier may "move" to a position in the sentence other than immediately preceding the noun. Compare :

          Both boys passed the exam                and       The boys both passed the exam.
          Each box contains around 200 items   and       The boxes each contain around 200 items.
          All talks start at 2.30                        and       The talks all start at 2.30