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    #1

    Many or much?

    Hi there,
    In the following sentence why much has been used and not many? "Many" seems more reasonable because the nouns seem to be countable! And the verb for "staff" should be "is" or "are" ?
    The staff at Harrods are not just shop assistants. Harrods has its own hairdresser's, doctor's, bank, fire brigade, and much more.
    Thanks

  1. nyota's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Many or much?

    Staff can be singular (when you refer to the whole group) or plural (when you refer to individual members of the whole group) e.g.:

    The staff were very helpful .
    If the staff is very large, you might want to divide them into smaller groups.


    I read that in American English, staff is not used as frequently as in British English, and is never followed by a plural verb. Perhaps somebody speaking AmE could say what they think.
    Also, you don't refer to a person as 'a staff' but as 'a member of staff'.

    As far as much more is concerned, I think the form has something to do with the fact that this 'more' hasn't been defined. It's like a promise that there's more to come but we don't know what it is exactly, so it's treated as something undefined and so - non-count.
    Last edited by nyota; 23-Feb-2011 at 22:01.

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    #3

    Re: Many or much?

    In AmE we tend to consider collective nouns as singular. The committee meets. Congress is in session.

    We would say the staff is friendly.

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    #4

    Re: Many or much?

    I agree up to a point, Dave, but mehdihas's sentence 'The staff at Harrods are not just shop assistants' sounds fine to me.

    Rover

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    #5

    Re: Many or much?

    I am just repeating nyota's answer to the OP in case it gets lost in the discussion on collective nouns.


    As far as much more is concerned, I think the form has something to do with the fact that this 'more' hasn't been defined. It's like a promise that there's more to come but we don't know what it is exactly, so it's treated as something undefined and so - non-count.

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    #6

    Re: Many or much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I agree up to a point, Dave, but mehdihas's sentence 'The staff at Harrods are not just shop assistants' sounds fine to me.

    Rover
    Good point. With "assistants" as it is, I guess you need to use the plural verb, since you are not discussing the staff as a whole, but talking of the individuals.

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