Determiners play an important role in making English sentences. These are the words that determine the quantity and quality of the sentences. Though there is no hard and fast rule in the use of determiners, there are a few things that must be taken care of. For example, the quantity of the noun. Whether the noun is singular or plural. Determiners are decided accordingly.
Much and many are two determiners. It represents the quantity of the noun. They mean, a lot of, numerous, multiple, etc. Their uses are simple. And, both carry the same meaning. However, there is little difference between the two. And, most people got confused in this minor ye deciding differentiation.
Much Vs. Many
Much is a quantifier determiner that is used to quantify the noun. It is used with nouns that cannot be counted. In other words, much is used with the uncountable noun. Much means a lot of or plenty of. These words are not with countable nouns. They are used to represent uncertainty. The use of much is generally seen in negative sentences. In positive sentences, a lot of or plenty of is used in the place of much.
However, ‘many’ is a quantifier determiner that is used to quantify a noun that can be counted. In simple words, ‘many’ is used with the countable noun. ‘Many’ means something that can be counted easily. For example, two, three, four, etc. If the exact number is not known but can be counted, then ‘many’ is used.
Like much, ‘many’ is also generally used in negative sentences. They are also used in interrogative sentences. For example,
- How much water do you have?
- How many books do you have?
Both sentences are asking for an amount. But in one case, it is uncountable, and in another, countable. In sentence one, water is an uncountable noun. Thus, it carries water along with it. in the second sentence, books can be counted easily. It means it is a countable noun. Thus, many are used here. These two sentences are positive. But they are in interrogative form. That’s why much and many are used as quantifiers.
These two words are used to represent quantity. It is used with larger amounts, degrees, and quality. But the exact count of these numbers is not known. In such cases, many and much work according to the ground.
Difference Between Much and Many In Tabular Form
|Parameters of comparison||Much||Many|
|Definition||Much is a determiner that is used to give an informal description of non-countable nouns||Many is a determiner that gives an informal description of the number of countable nouns|
|Meaning||A lot of, plenty of||Numerous, a lot of, multiple|
|Used to measure||quantity||number|
|Used with||Non-countable noun||Countable noun|
|Example||There is much to be done||Ram has many flowers|
|Noun||Singular noun||Plural noun|
What Do You Mean by "Much"?
Much is a determiner that is used to determine the amount of non-countable nouns. It is used in a negative sense where the number of uncountable subjects needs to be expressed in a negative sense. The meaning of much is a lot, in great quantity, in a great amount. They can also be used to represent countable nouns, but in the case of much, they show non-countable objects. Some common examples of much are rice, pulses, milk, water, etc.
Much is used in various contexts. It is used not only as a determiner but also as a pronoun and adverb. However, they all represent non-countable nouns. Only the method of using ‘much’ changes. Not it’s meaning.
Uses of much
- Much is used in the form of determiner to quantify a non-countable noun
- The pot has not much rice for children.
- I do have not much rice.
These sentences show that the subject has a good portion of the non-countable noun for its use. Here, rice and milk are non-countable nouns and they are being quantified by much. Rice and milk cannot be measured. Much is used in the positive context and the sentences are showing a large amount of water and rice are present.
- Much is used as a pronoun to show more than enough quantity
- We have too much time.
- How much food do we have?
These sentences show that the subject has more than what it needs. In the first sentence, time cannot be measured. But the context shows that the subject has plenty of time than needed. In the second sentence, the subject is asking for the amount of food. Though the amount of food cannot be estimated the context of the sentence tells that there was too much food and they still need more.
- Much is used as an adverb to show the degree or intensity of the feeling
- Does she take too much tension?
- I have too much to worry about.
Tension cannot be measured. However, by understanding the context of the sentence, it can be presumed that the subject is taking more tension than it should. In the second sentence, the subject is taking too much worry. These sentences are intensified by the use of much in the sentence. Worry and tension are a feeling and ‘much’ represents subjects are taking it a great amount.
- Much is used in affirmative sentences when it is preceded by so, too, or as
- I have so much work
- Drink water as much as possible
These sentences show the positive context of the sentences. That’s why, in these sentences, much is preceded by so, too, or as.
- Much is used with fish and shrimp in a few contexts
- The pond cannot hold that much fish.
- How much shrimp you can eat?
Fish and shrimp are countable. Still, they take much sometimes. When the number of fish and shrimp is not fixed and the amount is hard to calculate, the sentence carries much with them. This happens generally in negative sentences. And, much gives negative sense here.
- Much is used when the amount is decided by the size
- There is much room left to keep this luggage.
- Your body does not have much iron.
- She is not eating much desserts.
In these sentences, the objects that are the room, iron, dessert, etc are countable nouns. Still, they have taken much with them. The reason behind this is these words are used in the context of size not amount. Thus, they are not countable.
Sentences where much is not used
- Much is generally avoided in affirmative sentences. Instead, a lot of, plenty of, a great amount is used
- I have a lot of money
- She has plenty of friends.
- Ram owns a great amount of landmass
These are affirmative sentences showing positive numbers. So, in the sentences, other quantifiers like a lot of, plenty of, a great amount are used instead of much.
What Do You Mean by "Many"?
Many is a determiner that is used to quantify countable nouns. It means a lot of, plenty of, a great amount. But these all are used with the countable noun. It is used in both negative and positive contexts.
‘Many’ is used with negative context when the number of the object is expressed. And, sometimes it is used with the affirmative sentence in the formal context. ‘Many’ is used to represent the countable nouns whose exact number is either kept hidden or no one has any idea about it. When it comes to some affirmative sentences, a lot or plenty of is used instead of many.
Use of many
- Many is used as a determiner to quantify the countable noun
- She has many cats
- They are teaching many students
These are simple and the most common example of a simple affirmative sentence with many in the sentence. They represent a lot of objects are there. They are examples of affirmative sentences. thus, ‘many’ is quantifying the affirmative sentence as a determiner.
- Many can be used as a pronoun
- Many people came to join the conference later
- Sheena has many friends who can help her in need
In these sentences, many people and many friends are examples of pronouns. Because ‘many’ is used right after the subjects. ‘Many’ is used to quantify friends and people in the form of pronouns. However, with use change, the meaning of many does not change.
- Many is used as an adverb to show ‘not many’ and ‘too many’
- Not many people are coming to the party tonight
- Too many girls have surrounded the area
‘Many’ is used as an adjective and too, not are the adverb of many. Too many and not many are used as an adverb together. It reflects the quantitative adverb of the noun. In the above-mentioned sentences, not many and too many are adverbs of people and girls respectively.
- Many is used with simple countable nouns
- I have many friends
- She has many children
- Sohan has many certificates
- Many students want to join the army
- How many candidates will appear in the exam?
- There were so many people
- Use of many with fish and shrimp
For example, there are many fishes in the bucket.
Here, the number of fish is countable. Thus, we have used many with it. but in some contexts, the number of fish cannot be counted.
How much fish they have eaten till now?
In the given sentence, the number of fish eaten cannot be calculated. Thus, in this sentence, though fish is countable it will carry much with it as mentioned above.
- Use of many with countable nouns
Many are indeed used with countable nouns. But the context of the sentence may vary, and even if the object is a countable noun, it cannot be counted in some areas.
For example, there is too much plastic to dump down
In this sentence, plastic is a countable noun, still, it cannot be counted. Hence, much is used with it instead of many. An example of plastic with many is
We should not use many plastics
- Many can replace a lot of
For example, I have a lot of pencils. - I have many pencils
Here many replaced a lot. However, it can happen only in the countable noun. A lot of is used in the uncountable noun also. Many can replace a lot only when it is used with a countable noun. In the same way, many can also replace plenty of, a great amount, etc. The only condition is it should be a countable noun.
Difference Between Much and Many in Points
- Much is a determiner used to quantify uncountable nouns. However, ‘many’ is a determiner used to quantify a countable noun.
- Much means a lot of, plenty of, a great amount, etc. However, many means several, a lot of, numerous, etc.
- Much is used to measure the quantity of an object. however, ‘many’ is used to measure the number of objects.
- Much is used with a non-countable noun. It means much can be used only with something that cannot be counted. Or, substances that don’t have any quantity like feelings. While ‘many’ is used with countable nouns. ‘Many’ is used with objects that can be counted.
- Much is a singular number. It means it represents only one. However, ‘many’ is a plural number that represents more than one.
Many and ‘much’ are quantifier determiners. It means they are used to determine the quantity. Many and ‘much’ are the same in most areas. They have the same meaning. They are used for the same purpose but with a little difference.
‘Many’ is used with a countable noun while much is used with a non-countable noun. ‘Many’ is used to show some kind of number. Also, the amount is not higher in it. However, much shows the higher number. In other terms, something that cannot be counted. Much is a singular number and is continued with a singular verb. However, in some contexts, much can also be used with countable nouns.