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Yes, indeed "many" is for countable nouns. My approach for this problem would be like this:
Much/Many of the 5 million ants got killed. Much/Many of the ants got killed. Much/Many ants got killed. Much/Many got killed.
Many got killed. Many ants got killed. Many of the ants got killed. Many of the 5 million ants got killed.
What I did in this exercise is that I am trying to remove unnecessary information from the sentence. So it becomes easier to comprehend. "Many ants got killed" just sounds appropriate. _________________
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my take was based on the thought that 5 million is a group. For being countable, can we say as "1" 5 million ants, "2" 5 million ants?
For instance, miles are countable; however, the sentence sometimes used is " Chicago is less than 20 miles from here". "Fewer" is not used in this case as we cannot take "20 miles" as countable. "1" 20 miles, "2" 20 miles is absurd.
pkmee, Miles is a unit noun. Unit nouns like dollars,gallons,miles.... qualify as uncounables. For example, though you can count money, you cannot count the noun money- one money,two money (which you have also pointed out)..In such cases, less is used.
For example: We have less than twenty dollars is right and not we have fewer than twenty dollars. The same analogy holds good in case of miles.
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...