We use how much and how many when we are talking about uncountable and countable nouns.
We don’t want to confuse you with lots of fancy description like dictionaries do, so we will explain this to you in the most simple way we can.
How to use how much
How much is used when you talk about uncountable nouns, and uncountable nouns are things that can’t be counted with the fingers of the hand for example: water, you can’t say I have 1 water or I have 2 waters.
You can say I have 2 bottles of water, but here you are counting the bottles, the bottles are countable, but not the water, because there can be bottles of 500ml or 1 Liter etc. So you can’t count the water itself, but the things that contain water.
Examples of how much
How much is that jacket? (money = uncountable)
How much time did you sleep? (time =uncountable)
How much sugar do you want in your coffee? (sugar = uncountable)
How much cheese would you like to eat? (cheese = uncountable)
How to use how many
How many is used when we are talking about countable nouns, it means things we can count with our fingers, imagine you received for christmas 5 gifts (that would be great, wouldn’t it?) you can say I have 5 gifts.
So you would ask a friend: How many gifts did you receive?. You can’t say how much gifts did you receive? because gifts are countable.
Now imagine your friend tells you “I received wine”, you could ask him “how much wine did you received?” but he should answer a quantity like “1 Liter, or 2 gallon of wine” because you asked “how much” which is an uncountable noun, but if you ask him “how many bottles of wine did you receive?” He will answer 1 bottle of wine or “4 bottles of wine”.
Examples of how many
How many apples did you buy? (apples = countable)
How many people are in the classroom? (people or persons = countable)
How many days are you staying in New York? (days = countable)
How many levels does the english course have? (levels = countable)
So, if you want to know if you should use how much or how many, just find out if it’s countable or uncountable, repeat this phrase “I have 1 _______ (noun)”. For example “I have 1 money or I have 1 dollar”, in that way it will be easy to know if it’s right to use how much or how many.
Exercises of how much and how many
Here I shared with you a link to practice:
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