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Can the Latin word multus be used both for expressing greater amounts of both countable and uncountable nouns?

(in English there is many for countable, much for uncountable or the universal a lot of)

Thank you.

1 Answer 1

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Yes, multus can be used for countable as well as uncountable things:

  • in the singular it is used with uncountable things, especially abstract things like multa cura, multus sermo, etc., but also with substances like multus sudor, multus sanguis, multum cibum, and so on.

However, note that “much money” is magna or grandis pecunia, and likewise you have maior and maxima pecunia, and I believe the same applies to aes alienum (debt).

It is also worthwhile to mention that you can use the neutral multum with the genetive of the thing or substance (genetivus partitivus), e.g. multum vini “much wine”, multum diei “much of the day.” But this can only be used in the nominative and accusative, and even then not with prepositions that take the accusative.

  • in the plural it is used with countable things, e.g. multi libri, homines, timores, etc. If combined with another adjective, they should be connected with et, like multa et clara facinora (many great deeds).

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