Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
Guest:Which of the following is correct and why?
I have too many clothes.
I have too much clothes.
(Clothes is a countable noun. Thus, my bet is "many".)
"Clothes" is a really funny word. It is always used in a plural form. Nevertheless both "many clothes" and "much clothes" are grammatical (though "many" is more common)
"I have been awake ever since five and sooner; I fancy I had too much clothes over me." (Jane Austen)
rvw:I think you could say either of the following:
I am hot because I am wearing too many clothes [articles of dress].
I am hot becasue I am wearing too much clothing [clothes collectively].
Anonymous:I am not an expert, but I’ve been arguing with a coworker about this for to much time… to many hours have been wasted.
In my opinion, it’s all about the quantifier. If something has a known or implied quantifier, you can use many. If the quantifier is vague, you should use much
I have too much cheese. (quantifier could be slices, pounds, ounces, whatever)
I have too many slices of cheese. (quantifier is slices)
I drank too much coffee. (quantifier could be ounces, cups, gallons, whatever)
I drank too many ounces of coffee. (quantifier is ounces)
I have too much clothes. (quantifier could be articles, pounds, sq ft, whatever)
I have too many articles of clothing.
There question in my mind, is this: is the quantifier for clothes implied? And if so what is it? …Articles? If you say it is articles; then does a sock count as one article, and a shirt as another? Try to count the quantity of clothes that you have and I think you will run into a number of questions.
I think that the rule should be this:
If you can put a number in front of the collection in a sentence, then you can use many, otherwise you should use much
I have N apples. That is too many.
I have N fruit. WRONG… So I have too much fruit. Not to many
I cannot have N clothes, but I can have a lot of clothes. So I choose to use much.
A sock or a glove is an article of clothing, but usually a 'pair of socks' is counted as though it is one item. Same for a 'pair of gloves'.
Note that the word 'clothes' comes from the word 'cloth', whereas socks and gloves were originally made from leather. This is perhaps why often people don't include socks and gloves when counting how many clothes they have.
Is very important. For clothing, I would say either “too much” or “too many” works but it must be in the right context and with the right qualifier.
I drank too many cups of coffee this morning which kept me going to the washroom
I drank to much coffee this morning which kept me going to the washroom.
I put on too many pieces of clothes this morning when I left the house and now I am hot.
I put on too much clothing before I left the house this morning and now I am hot.
Anonymous:Clothes is a countable noun so you think it is many. So, how many clothes are you wearing right now, seven?
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