[Grammar] How much/how many clothes?

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irene_myself

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How is it correct to ask about the number of such nouns as clothes or furniture? As they are uncountables is it appropriate to use 'much'? Or is it better to use the word "item"? Like "How many items of clothes have you taken?"
Thank you)
 

billmcd

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How is it correct to ask about the number of such nouns as clothes or furniture? As they are uncountables is it appropriate to use 'much'? Or is it better to use the word "item"? Like "How many items of clothes have you taken?"
Thank you)

Good question. I would be inclined to say "how many clothes" if I had to use "clothes", but I would prefer to say, "how much clothing....." and "how much furniture".
 

mayita1usa

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Good question. I would be inclined to say "how many clothes" if I had to use "clothes", but I would prefer to say, "how much clothing....." and "how much furniture".

I completely agree, but I can't come up with a good linguistic explanation for why! Anyone? (Must have something to do with 'deep structure', right...?!?)
 

Rover_KE

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Irene, instead of sending your thanks in a separate message, just click the Like button please.

The reason is that it is flagged as a new post, so we think you might have a follow-up question or something to add. Those of us with slow connections and/or old computers have to waste valuable time waiting for it to appear.

Thank you. (Please note that 'Thank you' should be followed by a full stop – not a bracket.)

Rover​


 

5jj

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I completely agree, but I can't come up with a good linguistic explanation for why! Anyone?
Most uncountable nouns function as singular abstracts, liquids, materials, etc, even though the thing(s) they denote may comprise more than one object. Furniture is one such word. How much furniture was destroyed in the fire?

The are a few plural uncountable nouns, such groceries , odds (chances), congratulations, etc. How many clothes were destroyed in the fire?
 

Rover_KE

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Bear in mind that in casual speech most people say 'clothes' like 'close'.

I was greatly amused recently at a newspaper feature where people write in with amusing things little children say.

A mother told her two pre-school daughters to put their clothes on and come down for breakfast.

Shortly after, the older child came down and said 'I put all my clothes on, mummy, but Debbie's only put one clo on.'

Rover
 

SoothingDave

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Yes, like "close the door," and not like "that was a close call."
 
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