English Lesson: Much & Many

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English Lesson: Much & Many

There was so much snow last winter. Many trees were covered in snow.

I don’t have much time this week, but I have many ideas for lessons. There are so many things that my students ask me about, from grammar to idioms. With so much language to choose from, it is sometimes difficult to choose what lessons I should teach here. This week, many people asked me about much and many, so let’s study those!

Many and much are used as quantifiers. Do you know how to use these words? Take a look at the paragraph above and then check today’s lesson:

Many means a large number of things and much means a large amount of something. I am sure you know the basic grammar rules for these two words, but just to be sure, here is a brief review. We use many before countable nouns and we use much before non-countable nouns, like this:

  • I have many ideas for lessons
  • Many people in the USA like to eat hot dogs.
  • I don’t have much time this week.
  • Do you have much work to do this week?

So, now that you know the rule, let’s look at how we actually use these words in everyday English.

Many is used in positive & negative statements, and questions

  • I have many ideas for lessons → positive statement
  • Joe just moved to NYC and doesn’t have many friends. → negative statement
  • Do you have many books and CDs? → question

Much is generally used in negative statements and questions. For positive statements, we don’t usually use much by itself. We prefer using a lot of instead of much.

  • I don’t have much time this week. → negative statement
  • Do you have much work to do this week? → question
  • I think we will have a lot of snow this winter. Not, I think we will have much snow this winter.

Much can be used in a positive sentence with a modifier like so or too:

  • There was too much snow last winter.
  • With so much language to choose from, it is sometimes difficult to choose what lessons I should teach here.

Much can also be used in a positive sentence without a modifier in the passive voice. This style of English is generally used for news reports or more academic, formal writing:

  • There will be much debate in Washington about the economy.
  • In 1916, much land in the USA was set aside and turned into national parks.

I know that many of you enjoy studying with me here. I really appreciate so much support and encouragement from you. I know I have asked many times this week, but I will ask again today…Please help me win this contest:

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