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    #1

    Many/ much reserves

    Dear Teachers

    I am confused whehter I should use "many" or "much" in the following sentence. Please kindly advise.

    The University Grants Committee (UGC) would look at the financial situations of each university, its faculties and schools to determine how much money it would provide. If our school has too many/much reserves, the UGC has all the reasons to cut funding. If the UGC reduces funding, that means lecturers will have a pay cut since the surplus generated from self-financing programs canít be used to pay lecturers who are employed on government terms.

    Regards

    Anthony the learning

  1. FreeToyInside's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Many/ much reserves

    Reserves is a plural noun, so 'too many' is the correct choice.

    If it is a collective noun (always singular, no plural form) and you cannot count it, like rain, soup, courage, respect, laughter, funding etc. you'd always choose 'much.'

    If it is a noun that can be counted (take a plural form) then you'd choose 'many.'

    A strange thing about your example is, even though reserves is a collective noun that you can't count (collectively referring to money or resources), it is in the plural so requires 'many.'


    (not a teacher, just a language lover)
    Last edited by FreeToyInside; 04-May-2012 at 16:06.

  2. FreeToyInside's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Many/ much reserves

    The longer my answer is posted, the more I'm feeling strange about it. I just googled "too much reserves" and got 11,000 results, and googled "too many reserves" and got 30,000, but some referring to reserves in a different sense (like reserve players on a team.) It just feels unnatural for me to say "too much" of a word in the plural, but I don't want to give bad advice!

    Anybody else care to chime in?

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    #4

    Re: Many/ much reserves

    This is an interesting question. I think that "reserves" here means "money that one has set aside."

    So the idea is that there is too much money in the reserves. It's not the number of reserves they have, it's the contents of the reserves.

    I would probably re-word this to make it clearer. "...too much money in reserve(s)..."

    If forced to choose, I would choose "much," with the understanding that it meant something like "... too much (money in) reserves..."

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