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What is the difference between many and plenty?

Question #66930. Asked by Banty.
Last updated Jul 18 2021.

avatar
zbeckabee
Answer has 9 votes
Currently Best Answer
zbeckabee
Moderator
17 year member
11752 replies avatar

Answer has 9 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
I would think that "many" refers to a count (large or indefinite number), whereas "plenty" refers to there being "enough" of any given item. For instance, you can have MANY bananas but one banana may be enough.


Jun 14 2006, 2:45 PM
chadillac23
Answer has 8 votes
chadillac23

Answer has 8 votes.
Many is a relative term dealing with numbers of items. For instance, I can have many apples. Plenty, on the other hand, is more of a survival term. I can have may apples without having plenty. If I have many more people than I do apples, I don't have plenty of apples to go around.

Jun 14 2006, 2:47 PM
Babba06
Answer has 3 votes
Babba06

Answer has 3 votes.
Somebody might have only two cents, which is not many coins, but it is more than plenty to purchase a gumball.

Jun 14 2006, 7:40 PM
davejacobs
Answer has 4 votes
davejacobs
20 year member
956 replies

Answer has 4 votes.
An example of the way language differentiates between things that can be counted and stuff that has to be measured.
The classic case that so many people and businesses get wrong is 'fewer' and 'less'. It irritates me to see a supermarket checkout that is marked 'for less than ten items', when it should be 'fewer'.
I suspect this same difference is the root cause of disputes about when a new century, millennium etc starts. Some people view time as a number of years that can be counted, others as a continuous entity that has to be measured.

Jun 16 2006, 1:52 AM
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Baloo55th
Answer has 4 votes
Baloo55th
20 year member
4545 replies avatar

Answer has 4 votes.
There is a counting system that (in translation, of course, runs one...two...many...plenty. Can't find the reference to it at the moment, but see link http://www.math.chalmers.se/Math/Grundutb/GU/MAN250/S04/Number_Systems.pdf for a slightly more primitive one.

Response last updated by CmdrK on Jul 18 2021.
Jun 16 2006, 2:50 AM
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