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Many people...

Post 1


I just saw your question while lurking and saw it hadn't been answered. But usually "many a person" (or "many's the person", either) mean exactly the same as many people - but they are more colloquially used.

There's also a slight, subtle difference in usage. Trying to put my finger on it...Hmmm.

"Many a person" sort of implies conditionality. Or perhaps *tendency* to do something. For example, you wouldn't say it about a specific event - eg. "Many a person was trapped in the 9.43 train to London today", but you might say "many a person would like to win the lottery/has been in X general situation..."

Not sure how clear the above is. But basically I'd say it's just a bit more chatty or colloquial. smiley - ok

Many people...

Post 2


Ok, thanks a lot smiley - cheers

Maybe in the case of being trapped you wouldn't say "many a person" because it is a crowd, or many people together, which were trapped, whereas for the lottery it is a large amount of individuals?

Anyway, maybe I'll try to use it now, with a most natural expression on my face. I fully expect many an English speaker to laugh and tell me, "but you wouldn't say it like this in this context" smiley - biggrin

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