Singular and plural nouns


Is this sentence correct? Should I put any quantifier like many or a few before the words "books"? Thanks.1. She is holding books.

edited Jan 18 '13 at 20:42 May New member

2 answers


May, just to clarify what Lewis has correctly said, you don't need to use a quantifier, but you can.  She is holding books is a perfectly acceptable sentence.  It would be most natural in a situation where you are describing what someone is doing, or identifying who she to another person. 


A:  Do you see that pretty girl over there?


B:  No. Which one?


A:  She is in line at the library counter.  She is holding books.


B:  Oh, right.  Yes, she's lovely!


You didn't ask about this, but you would need to use the article the if you are talking about a specific group of books which have already been mentioned:


A: I bought three books this morning, and I left them on the coffee table.  Now I can't find them.


B:  Hmm, I am not sure but, oh wait, there's Jane standing at the photocopier.  She is holding the books

link answered Jan 19 '13 at 00:43 Shawn Mooney Expert


MayJan 19 '13 at 01:23

add comment

It isn't needed with most plural nouns. You can use a quantifier to show how many books.

She is holding a few books.

She is holding many books.

She is holding a stack of books.

In this, the 'a' modifies 'stack' and 'books' becomes the object of the preposition.

link edited Jan 18 '13 at 21:10 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Can I write "She is holding books." without any quantifier? Thanks.

MayJan 18 '13 at 21:15

add comment

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.