Is it correct to say "This is too many "without a subject just like "This is too much"phrase?

The context might be a class growing in the number of its students this year.

2 Answers 2


The difference between "many" and "much" as I understand it is that you can count "many" (as in "many coins") but you can't count, out haven't counted, "much".

So to answer your question, you could say "these are too many" without saying what there are too many of, but clearly indicating that you after talking about a group of individual objects (things out people).

  • Are you suggesting that “These are too many” is correct but “This is too many” is wrong?
    – Jim
    Jul 8, 2017 at 23:09
  • @Jim "this is too many" is not necessarily wrong: '"if one is too many, then this is too many", he said, pointing to the angry ant crawling across the table'. It just implies that there's one thing that, by itself, is too many.
    – Ronald
    Jul 8, 2017 at 23:15
  • I totally agree. Your posted answer leaves that unclear.
    – Jim
    Jul 8, 2017 at 23:17
  • No; 'This is too many' means that the situation (eg the number in a small boat) is being regarded as over-subscribed. You wouldn't say 'Twelve are too many'. Jul 8, 2017 at 23:25
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth - I didn’t read Ronald’s comment closely enough. “This is too many” is not wrong. Yes. But I agree with you that it does not refer to “one thing by itself” that is too many. I imagined a friend with M&Ms. “Can I have some?” “Sure. Hold out your hand.” He then dumps half the bag into my hand and I say. “Whoa! This is too many.”
    – Jim
    Jul 9, 2017 at 2:32

If you want to use many in the context of a class growing in the number of its students this year,then you can use "These are too many students".

The first reason for this,is that students are countable hence "are" must be used instead of "is".

Moreover,"much" is always used together with an uncountable noun (like 'oil' or 'water') while many is always used with nouns that are countable (like 'table' or 'student').

And you use "these" because of the same reason i.e. students are plural hence you don't use "this".

However "this is too many" can be used based on the context.Jim's comment sums it all up.

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