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Many of the population in the rural areas is composed of manual labourers.

In the above sentence, 'many' is the wrong word in this case. Could anyone please give the correction to the error?

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Probably the simplest possible correction is:

Much of the population in the rural areas is composed of manual laborers.

"Much" and "many" have essentially the same meaning, but differ in usage. "Many" is used with countable nouns, and "much" is used for uncountable nouns. For example, one might say "much water", but "many drops of water".

In this case, while "manual laborers" are countable, the word being modified by "much" or "many" is "population", which is treated as an uncountable noun.

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How about this:

Most people in rural areas are manual labourers.

Another example:

Most of the population in rural areas consists of manual labourers.

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  • 1
    That's correct, but would you mind adding an explanation why it is? – Nathan Tuggy Jul 27 '16 at 4:45
  • Could you replace only ' many' by another word and keep the rest of the sentence? – Roi An Jul 27 '16 at 4:53
  • Thank you. That's the question in my English grammar final test, and I chose 'most' too.:) – Roi An Jul 27 '16 at 5:04
  • "Most" is a bit different in meaning from "many". "Many" is a portion which is not small; "most" is all but a few. For instance, if 50% of the population were manual laborers, that would be "many", but not "most". – duskwuff -inactive- Jul 27 '16 at 5:12
  • If my answer helped you, please up-vote it and mark as answered. – Michael Rybkin Jul 27 '16 at 5:12

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