The words most, many and some are called quantifiers; and we use them to describe the quantity (how much) of something.
In this grammar lesson, we look at the how we can be more specific by use these quantifiers with 'of'.
Most - Many - Some
We use the structure quantifier + noun when we are speaking in general and do not have a specific group of people or things in mind.
- Most people like movies.
- Many students study engineering.
- Some people have moved abroad.
Most Of - Many Of - Some Of
We use most of, many of and some of with a determiner (e.g. articles, demonstratives and possessives) to refer to a quantity of a specific group.
Let’s compare some examples that talk about general and specific groups.
- General: Most people like movies.
- Specific: Most of the people I know like movies. (determiner = the (also called an article))
- General: Many students study engineering.
- Specific: Many of this university's students study engineering. (determiner = this)
- General: Some people have moved abroad.
- Specific: Some of my friends have moved abroad. (determiner = my (also called a possessive adjective))
If you are speaking generally, and do not have a specific group in mind, use quantifier + noun (do not use 'of' or a determiner).
Some animals are dangerous.
If you are speaking about a specific group, then use quantifier + of + determiner.
Some of the animals at this zoo are dangerous.