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From Thompson, Geoff. (1994). Collins Cobuild English Guides: Reporting. p. 179.

The author does this by showing that she has read as many as possible of the books and articles that have already been written about the subject.

I can understand the meaning of this sentence,but fail to take the grammatical usage of "as many as possible" and the following "of".

If "many" is an adjective, how to take the following "of"?

If "many" is a pronoun, how to take the "as" ahead? As I know, the first "as" is an adverb,so can not modify a pronoun.

Or,"as many as possible" being an adverbial modifies "read of":

The author does this by showing that she has read [as many as possible] of the books and articles that have already been written about the subject. ?

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  • "Many" is classed as a determinative. Here, it's functioning as a 'fused determiner head', understood as "many books and articles".
    – BillJ
    Aug 30, 2023 at 11:14
  • @BillJ But,how to take the following "of"?
    – Mr. Wang
    Aug 30, 2023 at 12:36

1 Answer 1

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It looks to me that "of books and articles" is a complement of "many" which has been postposed because of its length/weight + relative clause. So the adverb "as" is modifying the NP "many [of books and articles]' which complement has been moved at the end.

Alternative sentence:

"The author does this by showing that she has read as [many of the books and articles that have already been written about the subject] as possible."

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  • I've removed some of the chat. An answer is an answer, you don't need to apologise for it.
    – James K
    Aug 30, 2023 at 7:52
  • Thanks! That sounds encouraging to me.
    – user424874
    Aug 30, 2023 at 7:53
  • The OP’s title asks which part of speech it is. Aug 30, 2023 at 14:39
  • @PaulTanenbaum Check user BillJ's comment for the POS.
    – user424874
    Aug 30, 2023 at 15:24

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