1st/ i wil teach beginners a grammer lesson about how much-how many).. does (shampoo and cream) come under how much or how muny..because i think the shampoo or the cream itself is uncountable but...

 1st/ i wil teach beginners a grammer lesson about how much-how many).. does (shampoo and cream) come under how much or how muny..

because i think the shampoo or the cream itself is uncountable but as a bottle is countable.. what do u think? i have 2 choose either using how many or how much."

2nd/ if i ask 1 student how much water do u need? as an examle of using ( how much)

what can he will answer? can he say i need 3 bottles..accordingly, may be he will say water is countable coz i can count 1 ,2 or 3 bottles.. how can i explain this comolex?

3rd/ the word ( time) i know that it can be under how many in the sense of " i write the homework three times" and uncountable in the sense" how much time do you spend to clean your bedroom" what is the answer of this question??.. they maybe will answer i spend 2 hours to clean my room.. wo they may be think that time here is countable coz they can count the hours...

sooo how can i explain and simplify these complication !!! :l

Asked on by pure

4 Answers

auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree.  If it can be measured in units, how many is always right.   So if it's drops or buckets or gallons of water, you would ask how many.  If its rain, you ask how much.  If its water in the basement, you ask how much. The principle is applied exactly the same to any liquid (cream, milk).

Units of time is how many, time as a whole is how much. 

This works for everything.  Take a pie.  We would ask how many pieces of pie someone wants vs. how much pie is left. 

Tricky, isn't it.  Hope this helps!

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

It seems to me as if you have some good examples and advice already. One way to present it to your students is to consider if you can break it down into countable portions. Shampoo bottles can be counted (how many) the shampoo itself cannot (how much). Please remember to help turn student verbal responses into a positive (even if the response is wrong).

mshurn's profile pic

Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I would say that "time" is not countable, but measures or units of time are countable.

How much time?

How many minutes or hours or years?

I used to use the example of sand. Sand is not countable, but grains of sand or pounds of sand are countable. So we would say how much sand or how many grains/pound of sand.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

For question 1, I agree with you that the bottles are countable and you should ask "how many" about them.  With the cream and the shampoo itself, "how much" would be correct.  You could ask "how much shampoo do you use on your hair?"  and they could answer "a little bit" or "enough to cover about half of the palm of my hand."

For #2, this depends on whether your students know any units of measure.  If they do, then they can answer "how much do you need" by saying "1 liter" or "1 gallon" or something like that.

For #3, time is clearly countable because we can count it in hours and minutes.  Perhaps you can talk about the difference between time that you count (15 minutes) and time that you "feel" or "perceive" (not very long or too long).