Which one is correct?

Церковь многиx кого не одобряет


Церковь много кого не одобряет

  • 1
    The second one is correct. And more knowledgeable people than me will provide an answer explaining why :). Jul 28, 2012 at 6:59
  • "Многих не одобряет" or "Много кого не одобряет".
    – user819
    Nov 9, 2012 at 4:22

2 Answers 2


I think that only the second variant ("много кого") is correct.

There are two different parts of speech in the examples you gave.

In the first example, многих is a form of многие, which is an adjective and modifies кого. It has the same structure as многие люди, or if you put it in the same context:

Церковь не одобряет многих людей.

If you are a native speaker, you can feel for yourself that многие кто sounds incorrect. I didn't manage to find any literature that describes syntactic properties of кто, but I think that it can hardly be modified by any adjectives at all. The only examples of this kind I can come up with are colloquial back-check questions like:

— Многие монофизиты пострадали в то время.
— Многие кто?

In the second example, много is an adverb. I didn't find anything about this function of много in a dictionary, but it seems to be very similar in function to мало in the following examples:

Он мало с кем разговаривает.
Мало кто об этом помнит.
Он мало где бывает.

And there is a special entry for this kind of usages of мало in the dictionary:

мало (с местоим. и нареч.).
Указывает на недостаточность, незначительное количество, редкость того, что обозначает местоименное слово.
М. что хорошего я услышал (немного).
М. где он бывает (в немногих местах).
М. какой прохожий остановится у калитки (немногие).
М. когда солнце светит с утра (изредка).

It can be translated as:

мало (with pronouns and adverbs).
Denotes insufficient, insignificant amount or rarity of the thing that is referred to by the pronoun.

Therefore, we can assume that много кто is a correct form, too.

  • I think the easier explanation is that word in correct case tends to "rhyme", "click" with the question for the same case. Therefore, "много кого". It clicks like a magnet lock!
    – alamar
    Jul 28, 2012 at 20:27
  • @alamar - honestly, neither "много кого" nor "многиx кого" strikes me as "clicking right".
    – brilliant
    Jul 28, 2012 at 21:20

I think both variants are colloquial.

The correct form would be:

Церковь многих не одобряет.

Translation: The Church disapproves of many [people].


Церковь много чего не одобряет.

Translation: The Church disapproves of many [things].

though in the second case,

Церковь многое не одобряет.

would also be a better grammar.

  • Why would it be a “better” grammar? Sure, it may well be more refined, official, literary, publishable version, but why exactly the colloquial variant be “worse”?
    – theUg
    Jan 6, 2013 at 7:36

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