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Thread: indefinite article

  1. #1
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    indefinite article

    I've read in a Grammar book. That there are a number of set expressions with the indefinite article and they give the following example:
    - 1) many a time
    - 2) many a man
    What does it mean? Are they synonyms to 1)many times, 2)a lot of people ? Are they common used?

  2. #2
    Старший оракул
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    "Many a time" refers to something that you do and have done alot. It is a synonyn to "many times".

    I've climbed mount Everest many a time. - I've climbed mount everest many times.

    A lot of people refers to maybe an idea of the general population, or most of the people.

    A lot of people think the war in Iraq is bad. - Lots of people think the war in Iraq is bad.

    A lot of people went on the trip to Moscow. - Lots of people went on the trip to Moscow.

    I do hear "many a time" somewhat often, and "a lot of people" is a fairly common expression. So I would say that both are used often.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Yulia, these expressions are folksy, a little old-fashioned meaning what you suggested.

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    I've met these expressions only in English proverbs. "Many a ..." construction looks strange, but charming.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    the Rolling Stones

    Quote Originally Posted by Rtyom
    I've met these expressions only in English proverbs. "Many a ..." construction looks strange, but charming.
    haven't you heard Sympathy for the Devil

    "I've been around for a long long year
    stole many a man's soul and faith"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rtyom
    construction looks strange, but charming.
    Really charming. I always liked it.
    "Happy new year, happy new year
    May we all have a vision now and then
    Of a world where every neighbour is a friend"

  7. #7
    Aaa
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    You can say

    "Many men have tried to climb Mt. Everest, but only a few have succeeded."

    "Many a man has tried to climb Mt. Everest, but only a few have succeeded."

    "Many books have been written on the subject."

    "Many a book has been written on the subject."

    All are correct, the first ones are more common, the second ones do have "charm," but they are certainly not archaic, and can still be considered to be in common usage.

    Notice how the verbs changed, though.

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    Many a duck flew by my house this morning....... but I just (only) shot this one.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    Re: the Rolling Stones

    Quote Originally Posted by igorfa100
    Quote Originally Posted by Rtyom
    I've met these expressions only in English proverbs. "Many a ..." construction looks strange, but charming.
    haven't you heard Sympathy for the Devil

    "I've been around for a long long year
    stole many a man's soul and faith"
    Unfortunately, I haven't. I'm more into electronica.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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    Wow... who wrote that textbook ? Many a time ? Many a man ? LOL...

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