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Gramatical difference -English-

  1. Jan 28, 2010 #1
    What is the difference (if any) between "many man would ... " and "many a man would ..." .
    Which form is correct, and why ?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2010 #2
    The first form is incorrect. Perhaps you meant "many men would ..." In that case either is acceptable and they mean the same thing. The second one is old-fashioned.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  4. Jan 28, 2010 #3

    I see. Thank you man
  5. Jan 28, 2010 #4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/1ZJQlddwuvY&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/1ZJQlddwuvY&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> ​
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Jan 28, 2010 #5
    This is hard to answer.

    The first ("many man") is incorrect because of the meaning of the adjective many:

    Because a "large" number is automatically more than one the plural of "man" is required: "men".

    How they get around this in the old fashioned construction ("many a man") is beyond me. It seems to be correct simply by virtue of the fact everyone says it that way.
  7. Jan 28, 2010 #6
    Here is what the oed has to say about 'many a', under the headword 'many'.

  8. Jan 29, 2010 #7


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    from Oklahoma! by Oscar Hammerstein II:

    Many a new face will please my eye
    Many a new love will find me
    Never have I once looked back to sigh
    Over the romance behind me
    Many a new day will dawn before I do!

    Many a like lad may kiss and fly
    A kiss gone by is bygone.
    Never have I asked an August sky
    "Where has last July gone?"
    Never have I wandered through the rye
    Wondering "where has some guy gone?"
    Many a new day will dawn before I do.

    Never have I chased the honeybee
    Who carelessly cajoled me
    Somebody jist as sweet as he
    Cheered me and consoled me.
    Never have I wept into my tea
    Over the deal someone doled me

    Many a new day will dawn

    Many a red sun will set

    Many a blue moon will shine
    Before I do!
  9. Jan 29, 2010 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thanks t-t!! I've been going crazy humming that since the thread started and couldn't put my finger on it!!
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