the many faces/sides/shades of...

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New Member
from Seinfeld:
- You basically wear the same clothes everyday.
- Seemingly, seemingly. But within that basic framework there are many subtle variations only discernible to an acute observer that reflect the many moods, the many shades, the many sides of George Castanza. 

I was wondering about "the many moods/shades/sides of" phrase. The article sounds a bit odd before many. Please explain why the article and could the same sentence be used without the article.

  • Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The article has to be there because it's specifically the moods of George Castanza, when defining something and not speaking generally, you use the article in English.
    "... to reflect many moods of George Castanza" is not grammatical.


    American English
    As much as I agree with Alxmrphi, I just ran this through my mind:

    ... many subtle variations only discernible to an acute observer that reflect the moods, the shades, and sides of George Castanza.

    I think it's fine also. The "the" sometimes add emphasis, and it may be partly a yiddish construction. (Seinfeld, the show, uses a lot of yiddish grammatical constructions.)

    Bottom line, with or without "the", it would make sense to me.


    New Member
    Thanks guys.
    Would you agree that this construction is not everyday English? I've been studying English for a long time now, read a lot of books and that was the first time I had come across that phrase. Even when I Google it, it's always either "the many faces/sides/etc. of something" or "the many" as in "Problems of the many" (people). Do YOU use it often? Never heard it here in New York. To me it sounds very formal or poetic maybe?

    I love Seinfeld so thanks for the fun fact about Yiddish grammatical constructions something I would never be able to pick up on :)
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