The following cmavo are discussed in this section:

ro |
PA |
all of/each of |

su'o |
PA |
at least (one of) |

Quantifiers tell us how many: in the case of quantifiers with sumti, how many things we are talking about. In Lojban, quantifiers are expressed by numbers and mathematical expressions: a large topic discussed in some detail in
Chapter 18. For the purposes of this chapter, a simplified treatment will suffice. Our examples will employ either the simple Lojban numbers
* pa*
,

Every Lojban sumti may optionally be preceded by an explicit quantifier. The purpose of this quantifier is to specify how many of the things referred to by the sumti are being talked about. Here are some simple examples contrasting sumti with and without explicit quantifiers:

The difference between
Example 6.30
and
Example 6.31
is the presence of the explicit quantifier
* re*
in the latter example. Although

(This rule does not mean that there is no way to specify a number which is vague. The sentence

is true if you own three shoes, or four, or indeed any larger number. More details on vague numbers appear in the discussion of mathematical expressions in Chapter 18.)

Now consider Example 6.30 again. How many of the listeners are claimed to walk on the ice? The answer turns out to be: all of them, however many that is. So Example 6.30 and Example 6.33 :

turn out to mean exactly the same thing. This is a safe strategy, because if one of my listeners doesn't turn out to be walking on the ice, I can safely claim that I didn't intend that person to be a listener! And in fact, all of the personal pro-sumti such as
* mi*
and

Not all sumti have
* ro*
as the implicit quantifier, however. Consider the quotation in:

mi | cusku | lu | do | cadzu | le | bisli | li'u |

I | express | [quote] | you | walk-on | the | ice | [unquote]. |

I say, “You walk on the ice.” |

What is the implicit quantifier of the quotation
*lu do cadzu le bisli li'u*
? Surely not
* ro*. If

the meaning would be something like “I say every occurrence of the sentence 'You walk on the ice'”. Of course I don't say every occurrence of it, only some occurrences. One might suppose that Example 6.34 means that I express exactly one occurrence, but it is more Lojbanic to leave the number unspecified, as with other sumti. We can say definitely, however, that I say it at least once.

The Lojban cmavo meaning
“at least”
is
* su'o*
, and if no ordinary number follows,

mi | cusku | su'o | lu | do | cadzu | le | bisli | li'u |

I | express | at-least-one-of | [quote] | you | walk-on | the | ice | [unquote]. |

I say one or more instances of “You walk on the ice”. |
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I say “You walk on the ice”. |

If an explicit ordinary number such as
* re*
were to appear, it would have to convey an exact expression, so

means that I say the sentence exactly twice, neither more nor less.