# Is there any difference in meaning between "so much" and "so many" in the following sentences?

Is there any difference in meaning between "so much" and "so many" in the following sentences?

We don't exchange gifts so much for Christmas in Japan.

We don't exchange so many gifts for Christmas in Japan.

• Possible duplicate of Which one to use, Much or Many? Oct 19 '16 at 22:05
• The possible duplicate does not cover the difference in interpretation (much->custom, many-> number of presents). Oct 20 '16 at 7:34

## 1 Answer

Yes, these are quite different:

We don't exchange gifts so much for Christmas in Japan.

"We don't often exchange gifts for Christmas in Japan"

We don't exchange so many gifts for Christmas in Japan.

"We do exchange gifts, but not as many gifts (as they do in other countries)."

In the first sentence "so much" refers to an amount so the listener connects it to the custom of giving gifts, how often it's practiced. In the second sentence "so many" refers to a countable quantity so the listener connects it to the number of gifts given.

By the way, I don't think either of these sentences is incorrect, and I understand the intended meaning of both, but to me the word order does not feel completely natural. A more natural way to say each would be:

In Japan, we don't usually give gifts for Christmas.

In Japan, we don't give (as) many gifts for Christmas.

• Hi. Can't "so many" mean "a lot of" in the second sentence in the OP? Aug 11 '18 at 14:57