How Many Vs How Much: Guide, Exercises, and Examples

How Much? vs. How Many?

How many vs How much. If you are studying English, you probably ask yourself this question more often than you would like. This is because, when we want to know the amount of something in English, we have two questions that we can ask:

How much …?

How many …?

These two basic questions have the same essential use, but, oftentimes, people get them confused when they are learning English. So, when do we use how much, and when do we use how many?

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Don’t forget, that after our grammar and example sections, we have two exercises you can do to test your knowledge of how much vs how many.

How Many Vs How Much: The Basics

how much vs how many: we use how much with uncountable nouns like water, bread, happiness, or grass. We use how many with countable nouns like apples, cars, dogs, or stars.

Where Do We Use How Many?

How many is used when we are asking about countable nouns or count nouns. Countable nouns or count nouns are nouns that are easily countable and are thought of as individual objects. This includes books, people, and trees.

You can also think about your answer. If you would answer a question about these things with a number, then the question should be how many.

Where Do We Use How Much?

How much is used with uncountable nouns or mass nouns. Uncountable nouns or mass nouns are nouns that are not easily counted, like liquids or non-physical nouns, or objects that are considered masses (sand or grass).

Importantly, how much is also used when talking about price. When asking about the cost of anything, you can ask, “How much is it?”

You can also think about your answer. If you would answer a question about these things with non-number phrases like “a lot,” “a little,” “some,” and not actual numbers, then it is probably going to use how much. 

How Much and How Many Examples

To see how this all works, we can look at some basic examples. These examples will show you when we use how much or how many, as well as give you a sense of the basic sentence structures involved.

How much and uncountable nouns are generally much more complicated, so we will start there. For more information on uncountable nouns, you can look at our countable vs uncountable nouns guide.

How much examples and how many examples

How Much Examples

How much water do you want? (liquid)
I would like half a glass of water, please.

How much is sand is there on this beach? (mass noun)
There is a lot of sand on this beach.

How much money do you have?
I don’t have very much money.

How much happiness has your dog brought you? (non-physical noun)
My dog has brought me a lifetime of happiness.

How much does that table cost? (cost)
That table costs $60.

How much bread do they want? (foods that are divided, are often considered uncountable)
They want just a little bit of bread.

How Many Examples

How many cars does he own?
He owns six cars.

How many cups do you need?
I need five cups.

How many legs do spiders have?
Spiders have eight legs.

How many provinces are there in Canada?
There are ten provinces in Canada.

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How Many/How Much Exercises

Now that you have learned when to use how many or how much, we can test your knowledge. These how many/how much exercises will test and see whether you know which one you should use when asking about different nouns.

You can find the answers further down the page.

How Many/How Much

Choose whether how much or how many would be more appropriate in the blank.

1. ________________ bikes were in the garage yesterday?

2. ________________ does that cookie cost?

3. ________________ do you like him?

4. ________________ trees are in your backyard?

5. ________________ classes are you taking this year?

6. ________________ bread do you have?

7. ________________ slices of bread do you want?

8. ________________ people are in your family?

Form a Question

We will provide an answer to a question, and you will need to form an appropriate question for that answer.

Example: I have four chairs.
Answer: How many chairs do you have?

1. She has a lot of money.

2. They want four cups of tea.

3. It has four legs.

4. The family has a lot of hope.

5. We don’t have a lot of grass in our backyard.

6. It costs $50.

7. Sarah and Jane need 30 cans of food.

Question Answers

How much/How many: Answers

1. How many bikes were in the garage yesterday?

2. How much does that cookie cost?

3. How much do you like him?

4. How many trees are in your backyard?

5. How many classes are you taking this year?

6. How much bread do you have?

7. How many slices of bread do you want?

8. How many people are in your family?

Form a Question: Answers

1. She has a lot of money.

How much money does she have?

2. They want four cups of tea.

How many cups of tea do they want?

3. It has four legs.

How many legs does it have?

4. The family has a lot of hope.

How much hope does the family have?

5. We don’t have a lot of grass in our backyard.

How much grass does your backyard have?

6. It costs $50.

How much does it cost?

7. Sarah and Jane need 30 cans of food.

How many cans of food do Sarah and Jane need?

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