Sentence 022 Let the cat out of the bag.
022 For a pensioner, one day is much like the next.
022 Help yourself – you can have as many as you like.
022 Help yourself – you can have as much as you like.
022 I don’t go out much on weekdays.
022 Many kinds of cheeses are used in wine-tasting.
022 Many people own their homes in my district.
022 My grandmother hasn’t changed much over the years.
022 My son is a friend to many.
022 Peter does much of his work online.
022 There isn’t much to look at in my flat.
Which Sentences are correct?
Leslie: Let’s see them one by one. All 10 Sentences contain either ’much’ or ’many’.
Bill: The first one is ’For a pensioner, one day is much like the next.’ The Sentence contains ’much’. ’Much’ is an Adverb and it modifies ’like’.
L: ’Much’ means ’nearly’ or ’practically’ and ’like’ is a Preposition.
B: Then the Sentence means ’For a pensioner, one day is practically the same as any other day.’
L: Correct. What comes next?
B: ’Help yourself – you can have as many as you like.’ This is most definitely not the first Sentence in an exchange since we don’t quite know what the Host is talking about.
L: What we know is that they mean something Countable. I imagine that Host and Guest are standing near a smorgasbord and the Host is offering chocolate pancakes to the Guest.
B: ’Many’ is a Pronoun here and it is sandwiched between ’as .. as’.
L: ’As .. as’ is a Correlative Conjunction and ’as many as’ expresses the Comparison of Equal Numbers.
B: ’Like’ is a Verb.
L: You are right and it is one of the Non-Conclusive Verbs. It means that it cannot be used in the Progressive – Continuous Tenses in its original meaning.
B: It is in the Present Simple Tense but the meaning is very clearly Here-and-Now.
L: What comes next?
B: ’Help yourself – you can have as much as you like.’
L: Almost the same as the previous Sentence. The only difference is that now the Pronoun is Uncountable. Based ont he previous, do you want to sum it up?
B: It is not the first Sentence in an exchange – the Host offers black caviar – ’much’ is a Pronoun here and it is sandwiched between the Correlative Conjunction ’as .. as’ – ’as much as’ expressesthe Comparison of Equal Amounts – ’like’ is a Non-Conclusive Verb and it refers to the Here-and-Now.
L: Perfect. What is next?
B: ’I don’t go out much on weekdays.’ I think that it is a quick one.
L: Go on.
B: ’Much’ is an Adverb that modifies the Complete Verb ’don’t go out’, and the meaning of ’much’ is ’often’ or ’frequently’ here.
L: Excellent. What comes next?
B: ’Many kinds of cheeses are used in wine-tasting.’
L: Can you go on?
B: There is not much to say. ’Many’ is an Adjective, and as such it modifies the Plural Noun ’kinds’.
And the next Sentence is very similar in structure.
L: What is it?
B: ’Many people own their homes in my district.’
L: So ’many’ is an Adjective and as such it modifies the Plural Noun ’people’.
B: ’My grandmother hasn’t changed much over the years.’ ’Much’ is an Adverb and it modifies the Complete Verb ’hasn’t changed’.
L: What is next?
B: ’My son is a friend to many.’
L: This is a very interesting one. ’My son’ is the Subject – ’is’ is a Copula or Link Verb – ’a friend to many’ is ’the Extension of the Subject’ – ’many’ is a Pronoun and it means a considerable number of people.
B: ’Peter does much of his work online.’ ’Much’ is a pronoun here and it means a ’large amount or degree’. ’Much of his work’ is the Object in the Sentence.
The last Sentence here is ’There isn’t much to look at in my flat.’
L: ’There’ is a Dummy Subject – ’is’ is a Copula – ’is’ is an Anomalous Finite that readily combines with the Negative adverb ’not’ to make ’isn’t’ – ’much’ is an Adverb that modifies the Copula – ’much to look at’ is the Extension of the Dummy Subject.