We had an argument in our collage if it's possible to have such structure:
"How many -singular noun- is there?"
How many chair is there?
The claim of the supporters: This structure should be used in case that t is not known whether there is one one or more chairs there. While just in case that it is known certainty that there are more than one chair, it should be "how many chairs are there".
The claim of the opponents: This structure cannot be since using the phrase "how many" always should be with a plural noun.
Both sides are not native English speakers, then I would like to know what is the truth.