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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
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      • Czech Republic
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2014
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    #1

    Many a ...

    Hello,

    I would like to ask a native speaker if "many a", used instead of the common "many", sounds too much archaic to the modern English ear.

    She cried many a tear; he drunk many a beer; the child had many a toy; etc ...

    Thank you very much
    Not a Teacher

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • England
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      • Ireland

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    #2

    Re: Many a ...

    They sound archaic and the third one is very unnatural. The second one should read "he had drunk many a beer" or "he drank many a beer".
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Many a ...

    We tend to use it, if at all, at the beginning of a sentence.

    Many an actor has come away from the Oscars disappointed.
    Many a musician has wondered why they never made it big.
    Many a time have I thought of quitting my job and travelling the world.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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      • English
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      • United States
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    #4

    Re: Many a ...

    I wouldn't consider it necessarily archaic, but neither is it widely used. I'll use it myself on rare occasion, but typically only if I'm trying to sound particularity poetic, or melodramatic, etc.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #5

    Re: Many a ...

    I like this construction when it is used as ems suggested.

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