Questions of Quantity*

Questions of Quantity

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Much or Many; Countable or Uncountable:

We use much or many in positive and negative sentences. Both show an amount of something.

If a noun is in singular form, we use much.


  • much money

If a noun is in plural form, we use many.


many students

Use of much / many

In everyday (informal) English, we normally use much/many only in in questions and negative sentences.


  • How much money do you have?
  • Not many of the students signed up for the festival.

In positive sentences with so, as or too, we also use much/ many.


  • Sarah has so many friends.
  • She has as many friends as Sue.
  • Kevin has too much time.

In other positive sentences, we prefer expressions like a lot of / lots of.


  • Carla has a lot of / lots of friends.
  • Kevin has a lot of / lots of money.

Countable / Uncountable nouns.

Much /many, people often speak of countable and uncountable nouns.


Countable nouns have a singular and a plural form. In plural form, these nouns can be used with a number. Countable nouns use many.


  • 100 friends – many friends.


Uncountable nouns can only be used in singular form. These nouns cannot be used with a number. Uncountable nouns use much.


  • 100 money – much money.


When you count money – you would say the currency and say that you have 100 dollars, not, 100 money.

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