‘Many money’ vs. ‘much money’ in English

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more (PDF Version).

Just like water, sugar, or love, money (in its most common sense) is an uncountable noun. This means, in particular, that you cannot say “a money”, which would be the same as talking about “one money”. You can have “one dollar” and “some money” for example, but “one money” doesn’t really make sense:

I found money on the street. (correct)
I found some money on the street. (correct)
I found a money on the street. (wrong)

As the title of this article suggests, “many money” is not correct either, since “many” means “a large number of” (and you cannot have a large number of something of which you cannot even have one piece). We have to use “much” instead (or “a lot of” or another expression that can be used both with countable and uncountable nouns). For example:

My parents don’t have much money. (correct)
My parents don’t have a lot of money. (correct)
My parents don’t have many money. (wrong)

However, just like water, sugar, and love, money can be used as a countable noun to express a slightly different idea. Just like the British waters may be dangerous, you can put three sugars in your coffee, and many people have had several great loves in their lives, “moneys” or “monies” (the possible plural forms of money) may be used to talk about several sources or types of money. Such usage is mostly limited to legal and economic contexts, however, and using the word “moneys” in everyday conversation would make you sound unnatural.

This article was based on my guide to the most common mistakes in English, which explains many similar topics. Why don’t you check it out?

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