RULE: “Many” is used with countable plural nouns like “children” and “students.” “Much,” on the other hand, can only be used with uncountable nouns like “money” or “homework.” “A lot” can be used with both.
RULE: Use “many” with plurals.
INCORRECT: There were
much people waiting in line.
CORRECT: There were many people waiting in line.
RULE: Use “much” with uncountable nouns. An uncountable noun has no correct plural form.
INCORRECT: Do you make
many money at your job?.
CORRECT: Do you make much money at your job?
RULE: Sometimes the uncountable noun is left out of the sentence. You can do this when the meaning is clear.
There wasn’t much to do.
There wasn’t much work to do.
RULE: Like “much,” use “little” with uncountable nouns:
There wasn’t much milk in the fridge. The little milk that remained was sour.
RULE: “Much” and “many” are used mainly in negatives and questions. In affirmative sentences, use “a lot of.”
INCORRECT: I have
CORRECT: I have a lot of homework.
INCORRECT: I need
much coffee to wake up in the morning.
CORRECT: I need a lot of coffee to wake up in the morning.
RULE: Use MANY and FEW with plurals.
There were many passengers on the bus.
Luckily, only a few of the passengers were wearing backpacks.
Check Your Writing for Errors
Use the Virtual Writing Tutor grammar checker. It’s free and has a number of useful writing tools that you can use:
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