Questions with Much / Many*

Questions with Much / Many

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Much and Many are quantifiers.

A quantifier is a word or phrase which is used before a noun to indicate the amount or quantity

Quantifiers – much and many, can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

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

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

e.g.

  • How much money do you have?

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

e.g.

  • How many students are in the class? 

Use of much / many

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

e.g.

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

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

e.g.

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

In all other positive clauses, however, we prefer expressions like a lot of / lots of.

e.g.

  • 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 nouns and uncountable nouns.

Many:

Countable nouns have a singular and a plural form. In plural, these nouns can be used with a number (that’s why they are called “countable nouns”).

Countable nouns use many.

e.g.

  • 100 friends – many friends.

Much:

Uncountable nouns can only be used in the singular form. These nouns cannot be used with a number (that’s why they are called “uncountable nouns”).

Uncountable nouns use much.

e.g.

  • 100 money – much money.

Note: Of course you can count money – but then you would name the currency and say that you have 10 dollars (but not, 10 money).