About много (as numeral)

wonlon

Senior Member
Chinese - Cantonese
I am studying Russian numbers. The rules are REALLY complex.:warn:

When I studied много as a numeral, I compared several books, but their explanations differ.
:confused:

1. Declension

i. One says много is NOT declined.
:confused:

ii. Many say it is declined like plural adjectives

Nom. мно́го
Acc. мно́го
Gen. мно́гих
Prep. мно́гих
Dat. мно́гим
Instr. мно́гими


iii. One says "
Много (or многое, pl. многие) declines both in the singular (Многое было скрыто от меня ‘Much was concealed from me’, Я многому научился у него ‘I learnt a lot from him’) and in the plural..." (Terence Wade's Comprehesive Russian Grammar)


2. In Accusative Case

i. Some say regardless of animacy, the accusative is equal to nominative.
ii. Some say for inanimate nouns, it is equal to nominative. For animate nouns, it is either nominative or genitive.


What should I trust?:confused::confused:
 
  • Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    You are mixing up adverb много, adjective многое and a noun многое.

    1. Adverb много of course is undeclinable.
    Ты много учишься.
    У меня много денег.
    But cf. adverb помногу (in plenty) and понемногу (a little at a time), where we can notice traces of its declinability in the past.

    2. Adjective многое is declinable, coordinating with its noun. In the modern language it is used only in Plural:
    многие
    многих
    многим
    многих, многие (animated and unanimated differ)
    многими
    о многих
    Я видел многих людей.
    Я видел многие машины из тех, о которых написано в журнале.
    Многим людям это помогло.

    Adjectives многая and многий are obsolete and can be encountered only in some stable expressions:
    Многая лета (long live)

    3. Многое as a noun (i.e. substantivated adjective) is declinable and is used only in Plural and Sing. Neuter:
    Declension is as in (2):

    Я видел многих (людей)
    Многие я уже опробовал (машины).
    Я тебя научу многому.
    Это многим помогло.
    Многие не успели решить задачу.
    Ты узнаешь многое другое.

    Hope I have not missed anything...
     
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    wonlon

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese
    But the topic I am working on is words of indefinite quantity (неопределённо коли́чественное числи́тельно)(e.g. много, немного, мало, немало, сколько, несколько, столько, etc.), not adverbs or the adjective многие.

    One book said that the oblique cases of много, немного are like that of the adjectives многие, немногие, "which can even be said that they borrow the oblique cases of многие, немногие. Therefore, there are two nominative forms in Russians: 'много книг' - 'многие книги', and they differ in that много refers to 'many', многие refers to 'many in a specific sum of things'."

    Also in:
    Сornell Russian Dictionary Tree

    много

    many, much, a lot of, as in I have a lot of soup.
    Morphology

    numeral; Acc. = Nom.; inflected like plural adjective in other forms; (irregular in phrases по многу [or по много] днљй)
    много много многих многих многим многими




    I mean that I am not mixing them up.
    e.g. профессор роботает c многими студентами в лаборатории. (многими студентами is declined from много студентов.)
    e.g. мы были в гостях у многих русских друзей. (многих русских друзей is declined from много русских друзей.)

    But some rules the books spell out differ.
     
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    MulaTina

    New Member
    Lithuanian, Russian
    Maroseika is right, wonlon.

    e.g. профессор роботает c многими студентами в лаборатории. (многими студентами is declined from многие студенты.)
    e.g. мы были в гостях у многих русских друзей. (многих русских друзей is declined from многие русские друзья.)
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    The reality is that «много» («сколько, двое, пятеро») is used in the Nominative and Accusative, while their adjectival equivalents — in the other cases («многих, многим, скольких, скольким, двоих, двоим, пятерых, пятерым»). By some mysterious reasons, the authors of the grammars regard some of these forms («двое, двоих, двоим; пятеро, пятерых, пятерым») as belonging to a single paradigm, whereas others as suppletive. There are no etymological or grammatical reasons for such a distinction, it is just a caprice of some people writing linguistic books.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    двое людей — двоих людей — двоим людям — двоими людьми — двоих людях
    пятеро людей — пятерых людей — пятерым людям — пятерыми людьми — пятерых людях
    сколько людей — скольких людей — скольким людям — сколькими людьми — скольких людях
    много людей — многих людей — многим людям — многими людьми — многих людях

    Why are the first three lines regarded as single paradigms?
     

    wonlon

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese
    The reality is that «много» («сколько, двое, пятеро») is used in the Nominative and Accusative, while their adjectival equivalents — in the other cases («многих, многим, скольких, скольким, двоих, двоим, пятерых, пятерым»)
    Then what are the adjective equivalents of сколько, двое, пятеро?
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Can anyone explain what does mean 'adjective equivalent' in our case?
    I found definition for English language, which looks to have a little to do with Russian: "A word or word group that is not an adjective but has the noun-modifying function of an adjective (as music in “music teacher”, dancing in “dancing teacher”, John's in “John's dog”, on the wall in “the picture on the wall”, the doctor in “my friend the doctor”, who plays golf in “a man who plays golf”)".

    But in our case двое, пятеро - numerals, сколько - pronome (as in скольких людей), много - short adjective (as in много людей), многие - full adjective (as in многие люди) and noun (as in многие думают иначе). Isn't it?
     
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    wonlon

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese
    The reality is that «много» («сколько, двое, пятеро») is used in the Nominative and Accusative, while their adjectival equivalents — in the other cases («многих, многим, скольких, скольким, двоих, двоим, пятерых, пятерым»). By some mysterious reasons, the authors of the grammars regard some of these forms («двое, двоих, двоим; пятеро, пятерых, пятерым») as belonging to a single paradigm, whereas others as suppletive. There are no etymological or grammatical reasons for such a distinction, it is just a caprice of some people writing linguistic books.
    But most reference books on my hand say that много declines, how can they all be wrong?
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    But most reference books on my hand say that много declines, how can they all be wrong?
    This is a kind of simplification. Много morfologically is an adverb, and as such is undeclinable. But when it is used in the sense of a numeral, adjective многие is used for its indirect cases.
    It is the same like with the defective verbs, such as одержу победу instead of победю:cross:.
    We may call it defective numeral in this sense.
     

    wonlon

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese
    Then what would you say about сколько, it is declined, but is there anything like сколькие?

    сколько
    how much; how many

    Morphology
    numeral; Acc. inan. = Nom.; Acc. anim. = Nom. or Gen.; inflected like plural adjective in other forms; (irregular in phrases по скольку [or по сколько] дней)
    N A G P D I
    сколько Nom/Gen скольких скольких скольким сколькими
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    I think situation is the same with the only differense that the word сколькие is very rare (but still usable).
    So Nom. in this paradigm is not сколько, but сколькие, you can easily make sure yourself:

    Сколькими людьми он пожертвовал?
    Скольких людей он пытался убить?
    Сколькие из них спаслись?

    Of course you can also say Сколько из них спаслись?
    But grammatically these phrases are different: сколькие is subject, сколько is adverbial modifier.
     

    ahvalj

    Senior Member
    Historically, all the discussed forms were adjectives: those on -о/е were short (original adjectives), while those on -ие were long (compound) ones. Then the system of numerals and numeral pronouns went in disturbance, and in our particular group of words it has settled in such a way that the old Nominative-Accusative neuter singular short forms («много, двое, пятеро, сколько») have been used for the Nominative-Accusative plural, while the rest of the paradigm has been fulfilled by the standard long forms. For some words the Nominative-Accusative plurals have preserved as well («многие, сколькие»), though with some semantical restrictions.

    What I wanted to point out here, as well as in many other threads, is that some of the grammatical interpretations hammered in the people's heads by the grammars and manuals are often rather casual things, sometimes almost caprices of the respective authors.

    Here, both «много» and «многие» as elements of the paradigm are adjectives (adjectival pronouns); in other cases «много» is indeed an adverb, in some others — a special part of the speech called «категория состояния», and only the syntax can help to decide which is which since all these Russian forms on -о/е are historically neuter short adjectives («тихо» may mean all the three things: adjective «море тихо», adverb «тихо ехать» and "категорию состояния" «здесь тихо»). [As far as I know, the latter two are morphologically distinct in Lithuanian: "tyliai" as adverb and "tylu" as «категория состояния»].
     
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    dePrades

    Senior Member
    Catalan and Spanish - Catalonia
    Can anyone explain what does mean 'adjective equivalent' in our case?
    But in our case двое, пятеро - numerals, сколько - pronome (as in скольких людей), много - short adjective (as in много людей), многие - full adjective (as in многие люди) and noun (as in многие думают иначе). Isn't it?
    So is there a semantical difference between много людей and многие люди or are they interchangeable? I think they aren't because I'm usually corrected about them...
     

    Ёж!

    Senior Member
    Русский
    So is there a semantical difference between много людей and многие люди or are they interchangeable? I think they aren't because I'm usually corrected about them...
    To my mind, the first emphasises the group, and the second emphasises the people.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    So is there a semantical difference between много людей and многие люди or are they interchangeable? I think they aren't because I'm usually corrected about them...
    Yes, I agree with Еж, многие люди refers to the separate persons, while много людей - to the depersonalized group.
     

    SdR_34

    New Member
    Turkish
    Maroseika,

    У меня много денег
    In this sentence много isn't adverb. It is an adjective, isn't it? It modifies the noun денег.
    It should be "у меня многие деньги" shouldn't it?

    Я видел много людей.
    Я видел многих людей.
    Here много is an adjective. They are both in accusative case. What's the difference between them?

    If you think that I am confused with the word много, can you enlighten me on this subject.

    Thanks.
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    In this sentence много isn't adverb. It is an adjective, isn't it? It modifies the noun денег.
    "Много" is a numeral, not an adjective, and in Russian numerals often demonstrate specific behaviour. While sematically it indeed modifies the noun being numbered, syntactically it's mostly vice versa in Russian; if there is a head in the usual cardinal numeral group, it's the very numeral. Suffice it to say, when the said numeral group is in the nominative case itself, the noun is governed by the numeral in case and number (in other grammatical cases the noun and the cardinal numeral agree in case). E.g. два́ кота́ вошли́ в ко́мнату, пя́ть кото́в вошли́ в ко́мнату, я́ да́л еды́ дву́м кота́м; cf. мно́го кото́в вошло́ в ко́мнату (мно́го кого́? - мно́го кото́в). In grammatical subjects that structure also makes the number of the predicate, which is supposed to agree with the subject in number, basically uncertain (since numerals don't have the grammatical cathegory of number themselves); it may become plural or (neuter) singular - there are subtle nuances of meaning ("два кота вошло в комнату" sounds very generalized, impersonal and almost inanimate compared to the more standard "два кота вошли в комнату", but with different nouns and numbers the exact preferences may be different).

    "Мно́гие де́ньги" would be "many monies" (and even then it cannot be a predicate; "мно́гий" looks very much syntactically restricted in Russian).
     
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    Vovan

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Я видел много людей.
    Я видел многих людей.
    Simply put:
    Много = большое количество (a lot of; a large number of),
    многие = 1. много разных (numerous; a lot of different), 2. большое количество из числа ожидаемых/рассматриваемых... (many of those expected/considered...).
    The opposites are, respectively, мало and немногие.

    Немногие (люди) читали Фрейда в оригинале.
    Во многих книгах утверждается, что...
    Пришло много/немного (разных) людей.
    Многие (из них; из тех, кто должен был; и т.п.) пришли на его похороны. Но его дочь их проигнорировала.

     
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