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In the English language, there is both "very few" and "very many". In the Portuguese language, however, to the best of my knowledge, there is "muito poucos" but "muito muitos" is nowhere to be found. If that is indeed the case, why? How can "muito" be used to amplify "poucos" but not "muitos"? Grammatically, do "poucos" and "muitos" belong to different "families"?

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    There is muitíssimos.
    – Artefacto
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 0:43
  • Indeed. There is also "pouquíssimos". Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 5:43
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    The expression muito muitos seems grammatically correct, but it sounds horrendous to me.
    – Schilive
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 3:23
  • @Schilive muito muitos não é correto.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 14:06
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    Será que não seria hora de fechar essa pregunta? Já era.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 23 at 20:37

1 Answer 1

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Question: In the English language, there is both "very few" and "very many". In the Portuguese language, however, to the best of my knowledge, there is "muito poucos" but "muito muitos" is nowhere to be found. If that is indeed the case, why?

The translation of very few is: muito pouco, poucos, pouca, poucas
The translation of very many is: muitíssimo/a, os/as.

Ergo, Your comment is based on literal translation rather than on a translation of the actual meaning of the phrases.

VERY FEW "Did a lot of people come to the party? Answer: No, very few.
"Muitas pessoas vieran a festa? Resposta: Não, muito poucas.
OU Pouquíssima gente veio a festa.

VERY MANY There were not very many people at the party. Havia poucas pessoas na festa. Havia pouca gente na festa. Não havia muitas pessoas na festa. [haver can also be ter.]

the very of very few is given in Portuguese by the ending on the adjectives": issima, issimo, issimas, issimos. The i is accented.

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  • In my (Brazilian) experience, people think muito pouco sounds work when pouco is an adjective. For example, in "Muitas poucas pessoas".
    – Schilive
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 3:22
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    @Schilive Já disse isso. muito poucas (veja acima), então pessoas é feminino, e ficaria "muito poucas pessoas", very few people. Eu falei isso: muito pouco, poucos, pouca, poucas. Obviamente, poderia se usar com o substantivo no singular, no plural, no feminino e no masculino.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 14:06

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