Podcast: Do you have much friends?

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Jun 19
Inglês - Podcast Do you have much friends

Hello, all! Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu vou falar sobre um equívoco cometido por um falante nativo de inglês que estava conversando comigo.


Hello, everybody… how are you? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. Please subscribe to this podcast using the Podcasts app for iPhone or iPad, or listen to the episodes using the Inglesonline Android app.

OK, so… hopefully you read this episode’s title and thought it sounded funny, weird or just plain wrong! And if you didn’t… let me tell you right now that that title is just plain wrong. That question should be “Do you have many friends?”, not “much friends”. I’m gonna talk just a little bit here in this episode about the difference between MUCH and MANY, and I’m probably also going to write a tip on those two words since I have just realized there isn’t one on Inglesonline.

Let me tell you what the reason for this episode title is, though. First of all, I sometimes can’t understand what British people are saying if they speak fast. And second of all, I rent a room in a house and the landlady – in other words, the woman who owns the house, has two sons. Why am I telling you this? Because the other night I was in the kitchen, talking to Joe, one of my landlady’s sons, and he asked me something that I didn’t understand. I said “Sorry, what?” And then he said “My English is awful”. I thought he was saying that because I could not understand him, so I said “No, your English isn’t awful, it’s just that I couldn’t understand what you said”. Then he told me that he said “How much friends do you have?”. So that’s why he said his English was awful – he asked me “How much friends do you have?”, instead of the correct way to ask that question, which is “How many friends do you have?”

Now, you had to be there… but it was really funny the way he said that and it cracked me up. Joe is a native speaker, of course, and he’s a very bright guy. So what’s the point to this little story? Just that I wanted to give you an example of how native speakers sometimes make a mistake, for whatever reason. In this case, Joe misused MUCH. He asked me about friends – he wanted to know if I had many friends in London. Why MANY and not MUCH in this case? Because we’re talking about something that you can count: a friend. One friend, two friends, three friends and so on. Think of all the things we can count: flowers, buildings, bottles, tables, airplanes, shirts, girls, spoons, dollar bills. So we can say “There are many bottles of water in the basement”. I’ve got so many shirts. I found many dollar bills in that room. There are many airplanes in the sky right now.

And what is MUCH for? For the stuff you can’t really count. Example: you would not say one money, two moneys, three moneys. That’s like Portuguese: we don’t say “um dinheiro”, “dois dinheiros”, unless we’re joking. We wouldn’t say one happiness, two happinesses, no… So, for example, when we want to wish someone a lot of happiness, we can say “I wish you much happiness”. You could say something like “I think some people have too much money”, for example. Or “How much water do you need?” Notice that I would ask “How many bottles of water do you need?”, but “How much water do you need?”.

Like I said, I am probably going to write a tip on MUCH and MANY, but for now… here you go. Have you got a few examples of your own? What are they? Let us know in the comments and talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • much, many



you had to be there = dizemos isso quando achamos uma coisa super engraçada, mas contando não parece tão engraçado pois o outro tinha que estar lá pra achar engraçado também

Enddy 14/08/2013

One day i was chatting with someone by skype. He is not a native speaker and is learning english too. So he wrote ‘ i don’t have many time to study’ . I was confused and I wrote ‘ no, you must say much time, no many time’. did i am right on it?

Ayanda 24/06/2013

Just wanna say: thanks!

Vinicius 23/06/2013

Helo Ana! Thank you for this amazing lesson! Can’t wait for the next one!

Ana paula 22/06/2013

Obrigada, Ana! Mais uma dica utilíssima!!

Andre Luiz 22/06/2013

Hey Ana,

Speaking of which, I have to admit that sometimes I really feel kind of uncomfortable talking to british people. it seems to me that their accent sounds harder than american native speakers and besides, there are too many words and expressions only used in british english. If you don’t mind, let me share a good source where your listeners can find out lots of examples related to british english in everyday conversation:

‘The English we speak – http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/theenglishwespeak/

Take care Ana

Maurício 21/06/2013

Hi Ana Luiza, how’s it going?

I just wanted to say that I found this post really interesting specially because even though I’ve been learning English for about four years now, from time to time I will blurt out a a silly mistake like this one, which, more often than not, will make me feel “awful” for having done so. Sadly, here in Brazil, we have this “mistake pointer thing” embedded in our culture. I myself experienced this very same “embarrassing” situation. I corrected myself right away. Nevertheless a mistake was made.

Luis Henrique 21/06/2013

You know what comes to my mind after listen to this podcast, once my english
teacher was teaching to the class this two words. When she finished explain the material I asked her how would I know whether I have to use much or many when I’m speaking. I mean, when you are speaking you don’t have the time to think if it’s something you can count or not.
Now i know the answer. After listen so many times, it gets so much easier.
Thanks for the podcast Ana!

    Alex Sandro 27/06/2013

    It´s crazy because when we start to think and speak in english you dont think about rules…you just say it! After a while becames just natural… #crazy but #true

Raymundo de Jesus 21/06/2013

Obrigado, Ana, por mais esta ótima dica.


Jonata fontela 21/06/2013

Hi Ana!!!how have you been in the UK!?by the way,GREAT PODCAST!
Essas duas palavrinhas podem causar mt confusao,sera pq q eles tem duas ou mais palavras pra tudo einh?tipo em portugues a gente usa a palavra MUITO pra tudo!kkkkkkkk anyway…well,I haven’t much money but I have much motivation to keep studying English by myself!thanks Ana you’re the best !

Al 21/06/2013

Quando comecei a aprender inglês, uma das dificuldades era lembrar quando usar many ou much. Logo vi que a única maneira de fixar a lição era lembrar e fazer uma conexão com certos exemplos para mim já bem colados, tais como “how many peoples…” ou “how much coffee…” . Enfim, a melhor maneira de aprender inglês, como qualquer outra língua, inclusive a nossa, é entrar em contato com ela em seu uso prático e não apenas tentar guardar palavras isoladas e regras.

Morgan_~ 20/06/2013

Hi,Ana !
Primeiramente eu gostaria de te agradecer muito, porque você esta me ajudando muito mesmo. Eu estou ouvindo seus podcast e quando eu vejo que já “dominei” certo podcast eu leio e gravo o meu audio,mas enfim,não sei se este é o lugar certo para te perguntar isso, mais acabou de cair uma duvida cruel em minha cabeça neste exato momento.Bem neste momento eu estava proucurando outras coisas para melhorar meu listening e eu li isto :

“I usually tune up some radio station on the web and leave it there playing, even if I’m not paying attention on what they are saying. This is also important because English Language will be there in the atmosphere around you, in this way, you’ll be surrounded by English and as I wrote before, even if you’re not paying attention, English will be entering in all levels of your mind. This really helps to improve, not only the listening but also your vocabulary and accent. Just live it there playing, because this will have the same effect as we have with our Portuguese in a natural way as far as we are surrounded by a lot of people speaking it. Do it as much as you can, because this really helps”.

So this is true ?
Mil desculpas por perguntar isto aqui,mais por ser o ultimo podcast postado,eu achei que poderia adquerir uma resposta mais rápida heheh ;p

    Fernando 23/06/2013

    Hi Morgan,

    If you let me share my opinion with you,I believe that we have to be carefull about lesson something that is not totally understable.

    I think that might be more noise than helpful.

    I apologize for my mistakes.


Raquel 20/06/2013

Oi Ana Luiza, tudo bom?
Adoro seu podcast, tem me ajudado muito nos meus estudos.
Nesse novo episodio, qdo comecei a ouvir estava o mesmo
audio de um outro episodio o “como eu falo ingles: Ele me chamou de lado”
eu assino pelo ipod.


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