Relative clauses – Part Three: How much and how many
How much / how many / how + adverb
The previous lessons on relative clauses showed how to add a defining clause and also how to omit the relative pronoun and auxiliary verb. In many cases, a sentence that contains a quantifier (e.g. the number of) can also be written using how much or how many.
It is very useful to practice both options because if you can easily use both, you can make your writing more varied (which will improve your grammar score).
The sentences below compare sentences using various quantifiers (the number/amount/percentage/frequency of) with how + adverb
A: The diagrams show the number of applications made by students.
B: The diagrams show how many applications were made by students.
A: The diagrams show the number of cars sold by companies in the US.
B: The diagrams show how many cars were sold by companies in the US.
A: The diagrams illustrate information about the amount of electricity homeowners used from 2007 to 2016.
B: The diagrams illustrate information about how much electricity homeowners used from 2007 to 2016.
A: The diagrams show the frequency of doctor visits made to critical care patients in five hospitals.
B: The diagrams show how often doctors from five hospitals visited critical care patients.
All of the above sentences contain the same information. Practice these two sentence forms in both the active and passive tense, and vary them in your writing. You can find many examples of these in the model essays for Task One.
It is common for students to confuse passive quantifier sentences with passive how much/many sentences and remove the auxiliary verbs, as shown below:
The diagram shows the amount of chocolate that was eaten by the average child. ✔︎
The diagram shows the amount of chocolate eaten by the average child. ✔︎
The diagram shows how much chocolate was eaten by the average child. ✔︎
The diagram shows how much chocolate eaten by the average child. ✘
In the first two sentences, a relative clause is added to define the chocolate. In the last two sentences, there is no relative clause. As a result, nothing can be omitted from the sentence.
Decide if any part of the following sentences can be omitted. If yes, rewrite the sentences in your notebooks.
1. In June, there was a significant rise in the proportion of national expenditure that was designated for social housing.
2. The line graph shows the percentage of immigrants who arrived in Australia from five continents.
3. The diagram shows profits for four advertising agencies that have produced commercials for Nike since 2010.
4. The line graph shows the distribution of jobs that have been undertaken by immigrants in Australia since 2012.
5. School lunches that were provided for free accounted for almost a tenth of the total in 1999.
6. The diagram shows how much profit was made from 2010 to 2020 by four advertising companies that produced adverts for Nike.
7. The line graph shows how many immigrants were distributed across five sectors of the economy from 2010 to 2013.
8. The pie charts provide information about how much electricity was used by each of the five biggest countries in the EU in 2018.
|1||In June, there was a significant rise in the proportion of national expenditure designated for social housing.|
|4||The line graph shows the distribution of jobs undertaken by immigrants in Australia since 2012.|
|5||School lunches provided for free accounted for almost a tenth of the total in 1999.|