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Some vs. Many

Rule

Use some in a positive context when you don’t want to specify the number or quantity. Use many with countable nouns, when you want to refer to a large but indefinite number. For that reason, some and many are not interchangeable, each meaning something different. For example:

  1. I bought some apples / I bought many apples.
  2. She made some friends in NY / She made many friends in NY

Examples for some and many

  1. I’m fortunate enough to have many good friends.
  2. Patti found some money just lying in the parking lot.
  3. How many pieces of pie did you eat?
  4. Sheila bought some books at a garage sale.
  5. Many types of marine life live in reef environments.
  6. I’d like to buy some flowers for my mom.
  7. We have so many cousins!
  8. This recipe contains some dairy ingredients.

Some / many exercises

Decide whether you have to use some or many:

  1. The child put _______ sand into the bucket.
  2. I can lend you _______ money if you need it.
  3. There aren’t _______ pears left. Only two.
  4. We had _______ cake with the tea.
  5. Don’t eat so _______ sweets or you’ll get fat.
  6. I had _______ beer last night at the bar.
  7. I don’t have _______ friends.
  8. He brought _______ food with him.

Answers:

  1. some
  2. some
  3. many
  4. some
  5. many
  6. some
  7. many
  8. some

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