What is the difference in meaning between Many Friends and Many A Friend?
By Mrs. Chun Ley – Thailand – 2nd June 2007.
As far as the meaning is concerned, there is no difference. Many a is mainly used in a literary context. It is best avoided in informal ones. Many on the other hand is used in both formal and informal contexts. The expression many a is always followed by a singular noun, the meaning however is plural.
Here are a few examples.
• Many girls were forced to drop out.
• Many a girl was forced to drop out.
• Many players are suspected of taking bribes.
• Many a player is suspected of taking bribes.
• Many men behave childishly.
• Many a man behaves childishly.