Is saying

too much effort

the same as

too many efforts


Is effort countable or not, or does it depend on the context in which it is used? And if so, how?

2 Answers 2


Effort can be used both as a count noun and an uncount noun.

  • Uncount noun: Effort means 'an amount of work'. Something takes too much effort means that something is just too much work compared to what you achieve with it.
  • Count noun: Effort means 'an attempt at something'. For example, rescue efforts refer to (possibly successful) attempts made to rescue victims of a disaster. Too many efforts means that there were too many of these attempts, because for example this put the rescue workers in danger.

Another example: a student submitted a few dozen essays to a writing challenge: in that case he made too many efforts which may be viewed negatively by the jurors. On the other hand, if the student posted only one essay, but spent hundreds of hours polishing it, rewriting every sentence at least four times without this actually improving the essay significantly, he put in too much effort.


The correct grammar in this instance is "too much effort". It is used in a way similar to "work", where you might say something was "too much work" and not "too many works". "Effort" may be pluralized, in cases like "there were many efforts made by locals" or "his repeated efforts finally succeeded".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .