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I want to say that I remember a name if I hear it three or four times. Which of these two sentences can express the meaning better?

I remember a name if I hear it multiple times.

OR

I remember a name if I hear it many times.

I hope you will answer these sub-questions as well:

  • Which sentence sounds more natural?
  • Are they both OK to use (they have no grammar mistakes)?
  • Which sentence can express the meaning more clearly?
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"Multiple" sounds more natural to me. Both are correct, or at least colloquially acceptable. Both mean about the same thing, but "many" seems to imply (to me) that you have to hear the name a number of times which is probably equal to more than 4, (but that is just my assumption, others might interpret this vague terminology slightly differently.)

As a native English speaker, (from Utah,) I use "Multiple times" and was wondering if this is correct, because I know the word primarily from math class, but I know other people use it this way. To me, it sounds more natural to say "multiple times," and as someone else said, "many times" would imply a greater amount than "multiple times" would tend to, although both are vague. "A few" is definitely 3 (or approximately 3.) People use these terms very loosely, it is not a big deal.

If "Multiple" means "containing many subparts" then it is still correct to use it this way, since it contains multiple instances of the same thing, that qualifies as subparts of the whole experience which is a combination of similar events which are being pointed out.

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Every time I hear someone use "multiple" when "many" is the right word, I want to throw up. It's that bad for those of us who speak English correctly.

'Multiple' means 'containing many subparts'. A multiple homicide is a killing that involves many individual homicides. A multiple choice question is a question consisting of several possible answers. A multiple vitamin, or multi-vitamin, is a vitamin that contains more than one vitamin.

If what you mean is that there are many instances of a thing, and not that the thing is made of many subparts that each qualify in their own right as instances of the thing itself, then the word you want is 'many' or 'several', not 'multiple'.

  • As an experienced copy editor, I cringe when I hear my broadcast colleagues say "multiple people," and "multiple charges" and similar multiples. Logically, people add up; they don't multiply. The federal and state censuses count millions of people one by one, as required by the U.S. Constitution. Sports fans at stadium games are counted by individual tickets or hand clickers; these are "many people", not "multiple people." – Stephen Goldstein Sep 24 at 5:35

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