Slovak: Mnoho ľudí vs mnohí ľudia

Tisztul_A_Visztula

Senior Member
Hungarian
Certainly I know that the former is an adverb + noun in plural G, while the latter is an adjective + noun in plural N.

But is there any tiny difference in meaning, even if it is just a shade? Or even if there is none, is there anything to remember about when I can use this or that?
 
  • francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    No difference in my head that I can think of.

    Just be careful how you use those two; e.g.:

    Mnoho ľudí chce peniaze. (3rd person sg)

    vs

    Mnohí ľudia chcú peniaze. (3rd person pl)
    I agree as to the meaning, however I do feel a little or tiny difference:

    Mnoho ľudí chce peniaze. = A big quantity of people (in general) want money ...
    Mnohí ľudia chcú peniaze = Many people (certain persons ...) want money ...


    I am not able to explain this nuance very well in English. Perhaps, it can be compared with the difference of the following Hungarian sentences, at least approximately:

    Sok ember (csak) pénzt akar
    Sokan (csak) pénzt akarnak
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Also, if you don't want to sound bookish, in casual speech use veľa, rather than mnoho or mnohí.

    Veľa ľudí chce peniaze. (only 3rd person sg)


    Do you mean that in casual speech “mnoho” is generally used more rarely comparing to “veľa”, or is it just as regards ľudí/people?
     

    numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Do you mean that in casual speech “mnoho” is generally used more rarely comparing to “veľa”, or is it just as regards ľudí/people?
    I meant generally.

    As usual, you made me think about it more and I think the situation is really so clear-cut only in the nominative and accusative.
    "Veľa" is normal, "mnoho" sounds a bit formal or old-fashioned.
    Videl som veľa zaujímavých miest. (normal)
    Videl som mnoho zaujímavých miest. (a bit bookish)
    Videl som mnohé zaujímavé miesta. (still bookish, and I agree with @francisgranada that there is a slight difference in meaning - perhaps you are going to talk about some of the interesting places individually, perhaps you are going to make a contrast with other interesting places that you haven't seen...)

    But perhaps because the indeclinability of "veľa", the declined forms of "mnoho" sound much more OK in casual speech in other grammatical cases than in nominative and accusative. Also "mnohí" means "mnohí ľudia", which allows you to save a word:
    Veľa ľuďom to neprekáža. = Mnohým ľuďom to neprekáža. = Mnohým to neprekáža.
    Here I still feel a slight increase in formality from left to right but not much.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I agree as to the meaning, however I do feel a little or tiny difference:

    Mnoho ľudí chce peniaze. = A big quantity of people (in general) want money ...
    Mnohí ľudia chcú peniaze = Many people (certain persons ...) want money ...


    I am not able to explain this nuance very well in English. Perhaps, it can be compared with the difference of the following Hungarian sentences, at least approximately:

    Sok ember (csak) pénzt akar
    Sokan (csak) pénzt akarnak
    I don’t want to create more confusion, but I translate/interpret the sentences as the follows:

    Mnoho ľudí chce peniaze.= Sokan az emberek közül pénzt akarnak.
    Mnohí ľudia chcú peniaze.= Sok ember pénzt akar.


    So my understanding of this tiny difference is the same, but the difference is in the opposite way. I mean the difference how to translate these sentences to tHungarian. As regards Slovak I don’t feel to be entitled to make a comment. And as regards the English translations I fully agree, the second sentence should be more about the individuals than the first.

    It may be evident, but let me highlight that my translation is driven by the fact that ľudia in G plural due to mnoho requires something similar in the targer languague of the translation.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    But perhaps because the indeclinability of "veľa", the declined forms of "mnoho" sound much more OK in casual speech in other grammatical cases than in nominative and accusative.
    Did you mean the declined forms of mnohí, didn’t you? Because mnoho (as nor veľa) does not have declined forms like mnoheho

    Veľa ľuďom to neprekáža. = Mnohým ľuďom to neprekáža. = Mnohým to neprekáža

    What about Mnoho ľudom to neprekáža?
     
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