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1. You cannot find a single leaf on the tree.
I have to rewrite the sentence using "as much as " or "as many as".
a) You cannot find as much as a single leaf on the tree.
b) You cannot find as many as a single leaf on the tree.
Which one is correct?
Generally we use "much" in a negative sentence and for the noun that is uncountable.
"Many" with countable noun.
Could anyone explain it to me?
The correct answer is letter a.
As much in this sentence is being used as as idiom, meaning Almost the same: ex. I thought as much. She said as much.
According to Webster´s:
nearly , approximately <looks much the way his father did>
— as much
1: the same in quantity <not quite as much money>2: to the same degree <likes baseball almost as much as he likes golf>
The issue here is the latter part of the sentence (a single leaf on the tree). So you are making a comparison regarding similar amounts. To write a phrase using as much as within the tradional grammar rules, you would be dealing with countables and uncountables and using a form of comparative. Ex.
I'd say you've used "(not) as much as" as a variation of the idiom "(not) so much as", which is used like the word "even" as an intensifier when something is surprising or unexpected.
Thus, the sentence "You cannot find as/so much as a single leaf on the tree." could be reworded this way:
You cannot find even one leaf on the tree.
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