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"There is too much savings" sounds wrong to me. Is "There are too much savings" right? I did a search in Google for "There is too much savings" and came up with 24,500 results. "There are too much savings" came up with four. "There are too many savings" wouldn't work since "savings" is referred to in this case as a plural amount as a whole.

An example sentence is

In the case that there is too much savings at the minimum savings rate relative to desired investment, the unused amount is carried over to the next period.

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    "savings" is a collective noun, not a plural. There's no such thing as a saving.
    – Barmar
    Dec 19, 2016 at 16:40
  • The example seems to have been written by a non-native user of English. A better choice might have been "too much saving" but best would prolly be to re-write the whole thing. Feb 7, 2021 at 0:27

1 Answer 1

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As @Barmar commented, the word savings looks like a plural form of saving, but actually it isn't. It means "money saved" and should be treated in the same way as the mass noun money is treated.

For example:

There are too many savings accounts.

is correct because too many modifies accounts. However,

*There are too many savings. ( * indicates it is ungrammatical)

is incorrect because it means "*There are too many money saved."

“There is too much savings”: ungrammatical?

No, it is grammatical.

As commented by @DanBron, some grammarians call those nouns plurale tantum:

namely nouns like clothes, premises, remains, savings or, using technical examples, terms like nuclear binding forces, ignition electrics, soup suds.

[Source: A Basis for Scientific and Engineering Translation: German-English-German]

Other related useful links on plurale tantum: Wikipedia article on plurale tantum, The Oxford Reference Guide to English Morphology and doclecture.net.

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  • Useful term, here: plurale tantum (e.g. scissors but not *scissor, pants but not *pant, etc).
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 19, 2016 at 17:17
  • @DanBron It's somewhat different because (1) its singular form is actually used, (2) and its singular form is not used attributively, e.g. saving account (X). Etymologically "saving" and "savings" are related, but they don't have the same meaning.
    – user140086
    Dec 19, 2016 at 17:20
  • You know better than I, as usual, but I have found several sources characterizing savings as plurale tantum: The Oxford Reference Guide to English Morphology, DocLecture.net, A Basis for Scientific and Engineering Translation.
    – Dan Bron
    Dec 19, 2016 at 17:41
  • @DanBron Thanks for the link. I learn one thing everyday. I thought the term applies to only A noun (in any specific sense) that has no singular form, such as scissors (in most usage). I will edit the answer.
    – user140086
    Dec 19, 2016 at 18:01
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    @DanBron I was very reluctant to post this answer to this question because it reads like a general reference question. But your comment helped me to post a better answer. Let's keep it that way!!
    – user140086
    Dec 19, 2016 at 18:11

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