I'm looking for Far too many expression's meaning.

Phrase I found the word in:

For far too many, the dream has dissipated.

  • "For many, the dream has dissipated." Adding "too" suggests that this "dissipation" would be acceptable below some threshold, but the acceptable threshold has been exceeded. Further adding "far" suggest that the threshold has been greatly exceeded. – Hot Licks Aug 4 '15 at 12:12
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    Also, there is an implied subject, people or a similar general grouping of individuals. This also may be a reference back to a previously expressed noun. – bib Aug 4 '15 at 12:33

Many here acts as what traditional grammar calls a "pronoun" and CGEL a "fused-head determiner". Both imply that many "stands for" itself plus the omitted noun which it modifies, which will be evident in the context. We may assume that the noun is something like "people", or a particular group of people.

Too modifies many in its ordinary sense of excess: How many people? --too many people. And far extends too: not just a few too many but too many people by a "long distance", by a great amount.

And the whole phrase is the object of the preposition for, which indicates the group to which state described in the main clause applies.

Far too many people find that their dream has dissipated.

  • StoneyB, thank you! I've another sentence to show “For far too many”. "But for far too many children, there are not enough reading resources available to them in their native language." This sentence is from here:google.org/our-work/education/storyweaver – Clock ZHONG May 8 '18 at 16:59
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    @ClockZHONG Here many is an ordinary quantifier modifying its head, children rather than a quantifier 'fused' with its head; but otherwise the meaning is the same. – StoneyB on hiatus May 8 '18 at 17:06
  • what confused me is not the "many", it's "far", I've never see using "far" to modify "too" before. – Clock ZHONG May 8 '18 at 17:45
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    @ClockZHONG Wth comparatives like Xer, more X, too X it's an intensifying adverb of degree, roughly equivalent to much or very. – StoneyB on hiatus May 8 '18 at 18:23

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