Much vs. Many
Do you know when to use much and many? Here we’ll try to explain. Even English learners who are pretty confident in using that language can have a problem with that – the reason is similar as with speak or talk. Both much and many have the same meaning - a lot of, a great deal – but are used differently because of grammatical rules.
Sorry I have to put you through this again. Remember our blog post about uncountable and countable nouns? Again this is the key issue here. If you want to know when to use much and when many you have to be able to tell if a noun is countable or uncountable. Take a look at:
From now on it is easy
You use much with uncountable nouns:
- I don’t have much money, but I’m happy.
- I can’t give you much information, it is top secret.
And you use many with countable nouns:
- I have tried many times but it never worked.
- I drove many cars but this one is the best.
When you speak English with somebody and you have trouble telling quickly whether a noun is countable or uncountable, simply use a lot of instead – in spoken and informal English it is more common.
However, both much and many are used more often in formal and written English so it is worth learning when to use it.
Last but not least
Much is also used to show the intensity of an action – for instance:
- He works too much.
- I didn’t party much when I was a student.
Many can't be used that way, so watch out.
Do you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions? Have you spotted a mistake or you don't agree with something? Leave a comment :-)
Photo: Doug88888 // flickr.com