The Difference between MUCH and MANY in English

The choice between MUCH and MANY depends on the noun it is describing.


Both ‘MUCH’ and ‘MANY’ are determiners, and have the same or similar definition. They mean ‘a lot of’, or ‘in great quantities’, or ‘a great amount’. They may mean the same, but their usage differs.

1. MUCH is used with uncountable nouns (a large amount of something), such as tea, sugar, water, air, rice, knowledge, beauty, anger, fear, love, money, etc. When using much, the noun will always be singular; it cannot be plural.

Examples:

  • How much cheese is left?
  • I haven’t got much change.
  • How much effort does it take?
  • Don't spend too much time on the internet!
  • How much farther to walk?
  • How much homework must I do?
  • There is much concern about drug addiction in the US.
  • How much milk is in the bottle?
  • Is there much unemployment in that area?


MUCH is often preceded by ‘so’, ‘too’, or ‘as’, in affirmative sentences:

  • They get too much trouble!
  • You put too much sugar in the coffee!
  • I have so much work to do!


2. MANY is used with countable nouns(a large number of things) such as book, idea,dog,car,etc. When using many, the noun will always be plural.

Examples:

  • How many animals are there?
  • How many balls can you carry?
  • Many children get good marks in this semester.
  • How many cars can you see?
  • There are many challenges that lie ahead.

You can use MANY with a noncount noun only if you are talking about different types, kinds, or measured quantities of something:

  • How many blades of grass are there?
  • How many pieces of cake did you eat?
  • How many planks of wood are there?

Some special nouns that followed MUCH & MANY

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The Difference between MUCH and MANY in English

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