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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Question a question from a newcomer

    I was asked to comment on a webpage compiled by a friend of mine on which he had used the phrase "..quotes on a many number of subjects" to which I, quite rightly I felt, objected. I suggested changing it to " quotes on a large number..." or "..quotes on many subjects" but he insists his original phrase is perfectly correct.
    Is he wrong or am I?
    And does anyone have the grammatical rules which are required when trying to modify the word number in this context.
    Many thanks, and congratulations on a great forum :)
    Last edited by divajude; 13-Aug-2006 at 21:05. Reason: spelling


    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 35
    #2

    Re: a question from a newcomer

    Hi divajude,

    I don't think that your friend is correct. He could say "a great many subjects" (or use the versions you've suggested), but "a many number of subjects" to my ears sounds incorrect.

  1. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #3

    Re: a question from a newcomer

    "Many" is used with the plural: "many biscuits", "many geese", "many very fierce dogs"...

    "Number" is not a plural noun, so you can't use "many" with it.

    You also can't use "many" with the indefinite article "a" unless it is qualified by an adjective: "A great many subjects" would be acceptable, but not "A many subjects".

    You are correct, divajude.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3
    #4

    Re: a question from a newcomer

    Thanks rewboss, it just didn't sound right to me, so now all i need to do is work out how to break it to him gently lol

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