Grammar-ease: Using ‘Many’ and ‘Much’

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The rules for using ‘many’ or ‘much’ in writing are similar to using ‘less’ versus ‘fewer’ in that usage depends on whether the associated noun can be counted or not.

ManyVsMuchWe use ‘many’ (meaning a large and indefinite number) when the associated noun is countable, such as:

  • ___ rocks
  • ___ gerbils
  • ___ piles
  • ___ people
  • ___ calories
  • ___ books
  • ___ (cups of) coffee, juice, milk, and so on
  • ___ trees
  • ___ apples
  • ___ bushels
  • ___ miles
  • ___ individuals
  • ___ groups

We use ‘much’ (meaning a great amount of) when the associated noun is uncountable, such as:

  • ___ snow
  • ___ knowledge
  • ___ coffee, juice, milk, water, and so on
  • ___ pasta
  • ___ land
  • ___ laundry
  • ___ dirt / sand
  • ___ beer / wine
  • ___ food
  • ___ fiber

So, the general rule is: if you can count something, use many; if you can’t count it, use much.

If you have…

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