Talk:how many

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how many[edit]

SOP. See also my comments under [[#how_long]], just above.​—msh210 (talk) 10:03, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Delete. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:11, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Delete. DCDuring TALK 16:07, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Strong keep, just as above under [[#how_long]]. --Anatoli 23:26, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Strong keep. We need some kind of COALMINE-like policy for multiword entries that have so many single-word translations. --Yair rand (talk) 23:52, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Keep. Phrases such as how many, how much, and how long, are idiomatic and have an important place in any language. If it were SoP, you would be able to translate it into virtually any language just by looking up the translations of the parts...but this will not work, because it is not SoP. For instance, "how many" in Spanish is not "cómo muchos". —Stephen 23:58, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, conflicting senses (or interpretations) of idiomatic. Anything that can have an 'unexpected' translation can be idiomatic in that sense. FWIW CFI never tries to explain what idiomatic means, so that's a good get out clause. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:01, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Sure CFI explains what idiomatic means (for purposes of inclusion. What it means in its dictionary definition doesn't matter). It devotes an entire section to what idiomatic means: [[Wiktionary:CFI#Idiomaticity]]. The main thrust of that section is in its first sentence: "An expression is “idiomatic” if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components."​—msh210 (talk) 12:24, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Strong keep. I don't agree, in general, with Stephen G. Brown's definition of SoP — even translating something as simple as "I saw it" requires knowing a great deal about the target language's grammar (word order, verb tense/aspect/mood/evidentiality/agreement/etc., noun and pronoun case/definiteness/number/gender/etc., which pronouns are droppable, etc., etc., etc.) — but how much and how many seem like no-brainers to me. —RuakhTALK 03:11, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
You haven't explained your reasons for keeping the entry, Ruakh. BTW, isn't it amazing in how many languages how much and how many are translated as single words? I just can't think of them as SoP. --Anatoli 03:24, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I said it seems like a no-brainer to me, how much more reason do you want? :-P   But yeah, one factor is probably how they're single words in the other languages I speak. (But there's more to it than that. The other languages I speak also all have single words or hyphenated compounds meaning "the day before yesterday" and "the day after tomorrow", but said still seem SOP to me. "How much" and "how many", by contrast, really feel like set phrases to me, question words almost on par with "who" and "what" and "how". Technically they can be explained as sums of parts, since much and many both accept modification by degree adverbs, and one of how's uses is as the interrogative degree adverb, but I don't think speakers think of them that way. At least, this speaker doesn't.) —RuakhTALK 22:33, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
But most speakers don't consciously think of such words at all. And students of language may be the worst ones to "introspect". Until such time as we can read exactly what actually happens inside user brains, we could use some kind of more criteria that don't involve either introspection or imagination. Many here may live to see the day when there is some actual science to determining whether there is a difference between combien and how many or how much in the minds of equivalent native speakers. DCDuring TALK 23:14, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm a big admirer of your advocacy of developing and following good criteria; but when we lack clear criteria, I have to fall back on introspection. Sorry! —RuakhTALK 02:14, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Very Strong keep. It's a pure idiomatic expression. Once again: think of the foreigners who are learning Shakespeare's language. How a Frenchman, a Spaniard, an Italian, a German, etc. could guess that the English how many means in their respective languages, combien, cuánto, quanto, wieviel? Apart from that, let me remind that these foreign words can be translated in two manners in English : with how many, but also with how much, depending on the meaning. Therefore, deleting how many would be a terrible mistake. --Actarus (Prince d'Euphor) 10:55, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I think idiomatic [] as long as you don't speak English. Perhaps keep and add to Category:English non-idiomatic translation targets. But delete any [how + adjective]. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:53, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
At least in German, wie+viel suggests "how much" almost immediately. Equinox 21:33, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
  1. Keep I did not understand why you want to delete it Pamputt 12:19, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Kept. DAVilla 07:00, 2 July 2010 (UTC)