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Thread: Much or Many

  1. #1
    zhongshan is offline Newbie
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    Unhappy Much or Many

    In the test for Much or Many, question 10 does not address the question of much or many. I believe it is really a question of person or person(s) before the much or many can be answered.

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    Re: Much or Many

    What is question number 10?

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    Re: Much or Many

    Welcome, Zhongshan.

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    zhongshan is offline Newbie
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    Re: Much or Many

    Quote Originally Posted by Temico
    What is question number 10?
    Question 10: There wasn't many person there. This is correct.
    True, False, Leave Blank

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    Re: Much or Many

    Try,

    There weren't many people there.
    Many people were not there

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    Re: Much or Many

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Try,

    There weren't many people there.
    Many people were not there

    The first one, "there weren't many people there" is fine for me. However, I'm not comfortable with the second one, which is "many people were not there". I certainly would expect to hear and say, "not many people were there".

    Using "not" at the beginning of this sentence sounds more usual and natural than using "many" at the beginning, which seems a bit "forced" in some way.

    Not many people were there. Okay.

    Many people were not there. mm ... - I wouldn't use that unless there were additional information in context which would be understood by both speaker and listener. Not knowing whether or not that is the case in this example, I'd have to give a "thumbs-down" to this particular sentence.

    If there were more information or more specific information (cotext), then "many" would sound more usual or natural as the first word in the sentence (initial position).

    Many of the people we expected to be there were not there.

    Many of the people who were there last time were not there this time.
    Last edited by Steven D; 06-Sep-2005 at 13:36.

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    zhongshan is offline Newbie
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    Re: Much or Many

    In testing:
    Members:
    Much or Many (15)

    The original question was in response to a test question in the much or many testing area.

    At the time question 10 was written as follows:

    Question 10: There wasn't many person there. This is correct.
    True
    False
    Leave Blank
    The correct answer is given as False.
    Additional Notes: Don't use many.

    I was questioning the validity of the statement. I believe "There wasn't many person there." has to be revised before the many or much question can be addressed.

    Additionally this date the following two questions were reviewed:
    Question 2:
    We use much more in the negative then in the positive.
    Correct answer is given as true.
    Question 4:
    We use many more in the negative then in the positive.
    Correct answer is given as true.

    What is the reason that both questions show true as being the correct answer?
    If both answers are not true, then maybe the complete test should be reviewed for correctness.
    Thanks.
    Last edited by zhongshan; 09-Sep-2005 at 03:47. Reason: Questioning the contents of the test.

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    Re: Much or Many

    Quote Originally Posted by zhongshan
    The original question . . . .

    Question 10: There wasn't many person there. This is correct.
    True
    False
    Leave Blank
    If question 10 is about grammar, "False" would be my answer because question 10 'is [not] correct'; it's ungrammatical. "many" modifies plural nouns but it's modifying 'person', a singular noun, in 10.

    Does that help?

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    Re: Much or Many

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    I certainly would expect to hear and say, "not many people were there".
    Me, too. The sentence in question was provided for emphasis only:

    Existential there Locative Structure: There weren't many people there.
    => omit 'there' + subject-verb invertion
    Canonical Struture: Many people weren't there.
    Non-contracted Form: Many people were not there.
    Canonical structure: Not many people were there.

  10. #10
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: Much or Many

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Me, too. The sentence in question was provided for emphasis only:

    Existential there Locative Structure: There weren't many people there.
    => omit 'there' + subject-verb invertion
    Canonical Struture: Many people weren't there.
    Non-contracted Form: Many people were not there.
    Canonical structure: Not many people were there.


    mm ... Might I ask what the intended emphasis was?

    It seems to me that Ss would simply read that as being 100% "okay" if not provided with further explanation. I wouldn't have left that as an example.

    Just because a particular combinaton of words conforms to a correct grammatical pattern, it doesn't mean that it's necessarily "okay". This is an example, to me, of a structure that is correct but not "okay".

    Canonical Struture: Many people weren't there.


    Is "canonical structure" another way of saying "but it's technically correct" in this particular case?

    We may call this a "canonical structure", but I don't see that as meaning anything to Ss that want to use sentences and phrases that not only are correct but that also sound usual, normal, and natural in the context of ordinary and everyday language.

    One does observe the rules and one needs to observe the rules when speaking about correct and incorrect language. However, the rules are not where it all ends. There's more to it than that at times.

    And, by the way, as I said beginning the sentence with "many" could be okay if there were more context to justify it.
    Last edited by Steven D; 07-Sep-2005 at 13:30.

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