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Could you please explain which variant "as many" or "so many" fits the sentence better: "As a rule, you need 11 people in a team to play football. In our case we don't have as/so many people, as we only have 3-5 people per team."

As for me, both variants are correct without any change of the meaning.

Thank you.

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In American English, given your context where a requisite number (11) is specified, most idiomatic would be that many:

Eleven people are needed for the team. But we don't have that many people, so we have only 3-5 people per team.

where that many refers back to "eleven".

as many is used when comparing rough counts:

She doesn't have as many social media contacts as her younger sister.

so many is used with "gestalt" comparisons:

The beach is really crowded. There weren't so many people the first time we visited.

this many and that many can also be used in gestalt comparisons:

The beach is really crowded. There weren't this many people the first time we visited.

The beach was really crowded. There weren't that many people the first time we visited.

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  • Thanks a lot, Tim! It's really helpful!
    – Alex
    Sep 28, 2023 at 13:27

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