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I'm not a native speaker, which of these is grammatically correct?

  • "How many amounts of information?"

  • "How many pieces of information?"

  • "How many information?"

  • "How much information?"

I think the 2nd and 4th ones are correct and the others aren't, am I correct?

I do understand that many is used with countable nouns and much is used to uncountable nouns.

And I also understand that the word "information" is an uncoutable noun in British English.

What confuses me is an exercise for school:

How much information do you need? (use how many)

One of my friends said it'd be like the first example but I don't think so.

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    Welcome. We cannot really answer your question unless you can demonstrate your own understanding of the difference between many and much and why these examples confuse you. If the question is about the South Asian use of information as a countable noun, which is not accepted in British or American English, see If a word is coined / popularized / used only or mainly by second-language speakers of English, is it still considered to be an English word? – choster Apr 19 '17 at 17:08
  • "Information" is an uncountable noun, so "many information" is not correct. Similarly "amount" is uncountable, so "many amounts" is also not correct. Since this is basic grammar, this question may be removed unless you can add more detail why this is particularly confusing to you. – Andrew Apr 19 '17 at 17:16
  • @Andrew but according to Longman dictionary "Amount" is countable, that confuses me. – CumulativeDestruction Apr 19 '17 at 17:19
  • @Andrew And also according to this answer on the website, it's countable. english.stackexchange.com/a/254372/232158 – CumulativeDestruction Apr 19 '17 at 17:21
  • @NabilTharwat true, to be fair "amount" is one of those nutty English words that is often plural (amounts) but still used as an uncountable noun. "The bank recently transferred several large amounts of money". Maybe it's best to think of it as an irregular that's usually (but not always) uncountable. – Andrew Apr 19 '17 at 17:27
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Think of information as if it were honey, the sweet substance bees produce, not the synonym for "nice person" or "sweetheart". Also think of it in its flowing state, not crystallized.

How many honey does the recipe call for? ungrammatical

How much honey does the recipe call for? grammatical

How many informations on your web browsing habits does Google collect? ungrammatical

How much information on your web browsing habits does Google collect? grammatical

An amount is an unspecified quantity. For that reason we cannot ask How many amounts...? because nobody knows the size of the amount. And when you add amounts together, they simply become a larger amount. An amount has no size until it is modified, for example "a small amount" or "a large amount", and even then the size is relative and vague.

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"Information" is uncountable (we would never say the plural "informations") so "many information" is not correct. "Much information" or "a large amount of information" is better.

"Amount" seems to be one of those quirky English words that defies easy categorization. Most often it is uncountable, even if plural:

I received a large amount of money from an inheritance.

The bank recently transferred a number of suspiciously large amounts of money.

It's quirky because while you might speak of multiple "amounts" of something, if you were to physically count the amounts, you would either combine them or use a more descriptive quantifier.

We found those previously mentioned "large amounts of money" all in a single warehouse, stacked up in numerous piles.

So perhaps it's best to think of "amount" as an irregular noun that's usually, but not always, uncountable. To answer your question, "How many amounts of information?" is not technically wrong, but it does not sound like natural English.

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