much, manya little, a few

1. When do we use much and when many?

1.1 Before Nouns

  • We use much with uncountable nouns (water, coffee, money, time etc.)
  • We use many with plural countable nouns ( cars, tables, people, trees etc.,)

1.2 For Questions and Negative Sentences

  • How much money have you got?
  • How many people were at the party?
  • I haven’t got much money.
  • There weren’t many people at the party.

In every day English these questions you can be answered in a positive way with a lot of, lots of. There is no difference between the two phrases. Using much and many in positive sentences sounds very formal. 

  • I have got a lot of money.
  • There were lots of people at the party.

2. When do we use a little/little and when a few/few?

  • We use a little with non countable nouns (water, coffee, money, time etc.)
  • We use a few with plural countable nouns ( cars, tables, people, trees etc.,)

Examples:

  • He has a little money left.
  • There were a few people at the party.

We use few and little without the article a to give a more negative meaning.

Examples:

  • I have a little money. ( Some money, not a large amount, but some.)
  • I have little money. ( Almost none.)
  • There were a few people. (There were some people, not many, but some.)
  • There were few people. (Almost none.)