I came across this sentence in jisho.org's example sentences:


And I'm wondering if the 数 is really necessary. I thought 多い already implied a large 数, so saying that the 数が多い would be redundant.

Would it be grammatically correct to remove 数? If it is, does it change the meaning or make it sound unnatural?

  • Without 数 it'd be ambiguous between "They have many" and "They have much".
    – user4092
    Apr 27, 2015 at 2:13

1 Answer 1


You could omit 数;「[彼等]{かれら}は多い。」. It is grammatically correct, but it is ambiguous on what you are talking about, unless it is clear because of the context.

In sentence 「[彼等]{かれら}の[数]{かず}は多い。」, it is somewhat clear you are talking about "number of people" (though still have a little room the sentence can be interpreted differently.) but the meaning of the sentence 「[彼等]{かれら}は多い。」 isn't limited to "number of people", it might mean "number of prize they have gotten" or "the number of TV appearance they have experienced".

If you are already talking about "number of people", then 「[彼等]{かれら}の[数]{かず}は多い。」 and 「[彼等]{かれら}は多い。」 means the same. But without context, 「[彼等]{かれら}は多い。」 is ambiguous on what you are talking about.

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