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  14.5.9 exercise 9: Quanto / quanta / quanti / quante

Quanto shouldn't be confused with quando. Quanto means how many / much, quando means when.

Di quanto ne hai bisogno?
How many do you mean?
Quando viene?
When does he come?

Beside that there is a fundamental difference between the singular and the plural. With the singular we ask for the amount of something, the singular must be translated with how much (meal, water, milk). With the plural we ask for the number of elements of something and the English translation is how many (cars, pencils, chairs). In both cases quanto can be used as an interrogative pronoun (substituting a noun: Quanti vengono) and as an interrogative adjective (Quanti uomini vengono). In the case that it is used as a noun obviously everybody participating in the conversation has to know what the interrogative pronoun stands for.

noun, asking for an amount of something
Di quanto ne hai bisogno?
  How much do you need?
noun, asking for the elements of something
  Di quanti ne hai bisogno?
  How many do you need?
adjective, asking vor an amount of something
  Di quanta sabbia hai bisogno?
  Hoch much sand do you need?
noun, asking for the number of something
  Quanti libri hai letto?
  How many books have you read?

exercise 9: Choose the right option  
Di tempo hai bisogno per fare questo lavoro?  
How much time do you need for this work?
è partito?  
When he has gone?
mele hai mangiato?  
How many apples have you eaten?
soldi hai speso per questa sciocchezza?  
How much money have you spent for this nonsense?
acqua ci resta ancora?  
How much water do you still have?
caffè dobbiamo comprare?  
How much coffee we have to buy?
persone erano lì?  
How many people have been there?

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