Some quibbles re: the distribution of bare plurals

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tetsugakusha43

New Member
Spanish
I'd like to know which of these sentences admit dropping of many. Which ones sound perfectly acceptable either way, which ones sound kinda awkward and which ones are absolutely unacceptable without many?

(1a) many books were written
(1b) there were many books written

(2a) many books were likely to be written
(2b) there were many books likely to be written
(2c) there were likely to be many books written

(3a) many books were expected to be written
(3b) there were many books expected to be written
(3c) there were expected to be many books written
 
  • 1a and 1b are about the same and either could have 'many' deleted.

    Most of the others are hard to imagine as applying or used, except for 2c. In 2c and others, deletion of many doesn't make them ungrammatical. They, except 2c, are odd with or without.

    Note: deletion of 'many' obviously affects the meaning of ALL eight of the sentence(s); hence asking about the grammaticality of the deletion is an odd focus. It is like saying, "In the sentence 'I have two dogs' can 'two' be deleted?"
     
    Last edited:

    tetsugakusha43

    New Member
    Spanish
    > 1a and 1b are about the same and either could have 'many' deleted.

    A grammar I consulted had (1b) as significantly degraded w.r.t. (1a) when the determiner is dropped.
     
    What is w.r.t.? I simply said 1b with or without 'many' is grammatical.

    I do not understand your post as to what is 'degraded'. Are you asking: "is 1b a degradation of 1a" OR "Is 1b, losing 'many', suffer more degradation than 1a would suffer losing 'many'? OR "Is 1b without 'many' degraded compared to 1a with 'many' ?
     
    Last edited:

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Are these supposed to be full sentences?

    If they are just parts of sentences then it's a meaningless question because the answers depend on the full sentences.

    If they are supposed to be full sentences then the first letter should be capitalized, they should end with a period/full stop and many of them are unrealistic, with or without "many", because they lack a complete thought. They would only make sense in the context of other sentences that explain them. And what those sentences say will help determine whether "many" is needed or not.
     
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