much or many information

Agam

New Member
Malay
#1
i have a doubt on this matter. according to what i understood, we use much for uncountable nouns whereas many for countable nouns.

From i have read, information is can be both countable and uncountable, it depends. So my question is how does it happen, i mean in what context it can be countable and vice versa.

Is this applicable for knowledge, weather etc.

tq
 
American English
#2
We can't give comprehensive lists of the type you are requesting. If you have a specific sentence in mid, we can tell you whether "information" should be preceded by "much" or "many."

That said, I am having trouble thinking of a circumstance in which "information" could be used with "many." It would require that "information" be in the plural, and that's unusual. Most of the time, perhaps almost always, we would speak and write of "much information."
 

Welshie

Senior Member
England, English
#3
I can't think of a context where "information" can be countable. "Much" is the right word here.

Same goes for knowledge, weather etc.
 

Sylphadora

Senior Member
Spanish, Spain
#5
I understand it's 'much information.' However, I can't help but think that it sounds funny... I would say 'a lot of information.'
 

DonnyB

Sixties Mod
English UK Southern Standard English
#6
I understand it's 'much information.' However, I can't help but think that it sounds funny... I would say 'a lot of information.'
You can often use "a lot of information" as an alternative to "much information", yes.

I would say that perhaps "much information" works better with a negative sentence:
"Your question is difficult to answer, because you haven't given us much information". :D
 
Italian
#9
I can't either... I'd appreciate if anyone could provide an example on "information" preceded by many.
#I think it does not make any sense in the mind of a native English speakers. In other language it would be quite normal to use the plural of information.
I just wrote an e-mail where I explained different processes and different aspects of each one of those.
In my mind each "detail" I wrote is "ONE INFORMATION". So at the end I gave "MANY INFORMATIONS" to the person.
Of course in English it does not have sense since information is a self-standing concept, and in general because in English nouns are not "declinated".
 

Egmont

Senior Member
English - U.S.
#10
You cannot give a person many informations in English. (If you try writing "informations" here, it will be underlined in red because the WRF spell-checker knows that it's not an English word.) You can give a person many items of information, many data points, many things to consider - but you cannot give them many informations because each item is not "one information." English is not like many Romance languages in that respect. When you write in English you must forget that "information" has a plural in Italian, French, etc. In English, it does not.
 
Italian
#11
You cannot give a person many informations in English. (If you try writing "informations" here, it will be underlined in red because the WRF spell-checker knows that it's not an English word.) You can give a person many items of information, many data points, many things to consider - but you cannot give them many informations because each item is not "one information." English is not like many Romance languages in that respect. When you write in English you must forget that "information" has a plural in Italian, French, etc. In English, it does not.
That's exactly what I said. It makes no sense in English. But I'm pretty sure that even an English speaker can grasp the concept of countable pieces of information
 

JulianStuart

Senior Member
English (UK then US)
#12
That's exactly what I said. It makes no sense in English. But I'm pretty sure that even an English speaker can grasp the concept of countable pieces of information
English has many nouns that can be declined in the sense of being made plural, but mass nouns like information are a sub-category that cover the concept of "the mass of things" so each part of the mass needs to be identified as a X of "mass noun". A head of cattle, a sheet of paper, a piece of information, a piece of advice etc. Not all English nou ns are like that in English.
 
Italian
#14
English has many nouns that can be declined in the sense of being made plural, but mass nouns like information are a sub-category that cover the concept of "the mass of things" so each part of the mass needs to be identified as a X of "mass noun". A head of cattle, a sheet of paper, a piece of information, a piece of advice etc. Not all English nou ns are like that in English.
Once again I totally agree. But no grammar rule can over take logic :p I was trying to explain why the op made such question, and why some expression sounds "funny"
 

JulianStuart

Senior Member
English (UK then US)
#15
Once again I totally agree. But no grammar rule can over take logic :p I was trying to explain why the op made such question, and why some expression sounds "funny"
It only seems like "logic" to you because that's the structure you grew up with. If you had grown up in an English-speaking country, you would see the "logic" our way:D
 
British English
#16
It's not a question of 'native speakers being able to understand', unless the learner has minimal expectations. It has more to do with how one presents oneself, whether native spealer or learner.
I spent countless hours studying the two foreign languages I speak fluently. I had no intentions of speaking as well as a native, but, as a highly educated person I at least wanted to speak these languages correctly, as a reflection of my intelligence and personality, and as grammatically perfectly as possible for my own satisfaction, if nobody else's.

However illogical it seems, it's a universal fact that 'information', and 'news' are singular. By 'universal' I mean varieties; regional and national variations; dialects. and plain ignorant native-speaker common mistakes. There are many common native speaker 'mistakes', but I've never heard a native speaker say 'informations', or say 'the news are good'.
 

JulianStuart

Senior Member
English (UK then US)
#18
You confuse logic and natural. I find extremely logic both cases. I find one more natural, but that is subjective.
It's just a matter of what you are used to - applies in so many things in life:) I can't imagine expressing myself clearly in a language with no articles and many questions here are from people who speak such a language - they have difficulty expressing themselves clearly using articles:)
 
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