Grammar Lesson 94:

Quanto: adjective, pronoun and adverb

Quanto is an adjective and pronoun - sometimes also used as an adverb - which indicates the quantity - size, measure, length - of single elements or categories of persons, animals or things.

  Singular Plural Meaning
Masculine quanto quanti how much, 
how many, 
Feminine quanta quante

Quanto can function as a relative adjective / pronoun to link a subordinate clause to a main clause. In that case it replaces the phrase "all that / all those", "all the …".
In this usage it is often accompanied by the indefinite invariable adjective / pronoun / adverb tanto.

- Anna mi ha procurato quanto richiesto. (Anna provided me with what I requested.) —> pronoun
- Puoi restare quanti giorni vuoi. (You can crush here as long as you like.) —> adj.
- In centro c'era tanta gente, quanta non ne avevo mai vista. (In the city centre there was as many people as I had never seen before.)
Used in questions - both direct and indirect - quanto functions as an interrogative adjective / pronoun:

- Quanta fame hai? (How hungry are you?)
- Dimmi quanti libri hai letto quest'estate. (Tell me how many books you did read last Summer.)
- Non so quanti verranno stasera. (I don't know how many people will be joining us tonight.)
It can be preceded by a preposition:

- Per quanti giorni conti di fermarti? (For how many days do you intend to stay?)
- Da quanto abiti a Firenze? (How long have you been living in Florence?)
Note that quanto in the singular (both in the masculine and feminine form) can elide when preceding a word which starts with a vowel or an h. In the plural the elision is not admitted:
- Quant'uva hai mangiato?  (How many grapes did you eat?)
- Quante amiche avevi da bambina? (How many friends did you have as a child?)
As an indefinite pronoun - in the masculine plural - it means "tutti coloro che" and translates as "all those who":

- Quanti l'hanno conosciuto ricorderanno sempre il suo sorriso luminoso. (All those who knew him will always remember his bright smile.)
Exclamatory adjective / pronoun:

Quanta gente! (What a lot of people!) —> adj.
Quanto  sono contento di rivederti! (How happy I am to see you again!)
As an adverb, quanto is invariable. It is used in questions, exclamations and comparative sentences:

- Quanto costa? (How much is it?)
- Dimmi quanto Anna ha pagato quel quadro. (Tell me how much Anna paid for that painting.)
- Se tu sapessi quanto mi manchi! (If you only knew how much I miss you!)
- Quant'è stupido! (How stupid he is!)
- Sono intelligente quanto te. (I'm as smart as you are.)
- Anna è intelligente quanto bella. (Anna is just as intelligente as she is pretty.)
- Quanto più mangi, tanto più ingrassi. (The more you eat, the fatter you get.)
Note that "in quanto" means "because" or "as":

- Non ti ho cercato in quanto pensavo fossi arrabbiato con me. (I didn't look for you as I thought you were angry at me.)
- In quanto scrittore non sopporto le ripetizioni. (As a writer I dislike repetitions.)
Note that "(in) quanto a" translates as "as for", "concerning / regarding":

- (In) quanto a chiamarlo, non se ne parla! (As for calling him, in your dreams!)
- Quanto a me, sono felice di essere qui. (As for me, I'm happy to be here.)

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