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Many people lost their lives at sea.
Many people lost their life at sea.

In English, we use words like life, heart soul, body, mind in the plural when they refer to more than one person.

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There is lots of people in the cinema.
There are lots of people in the cinema.

People, meaning nation, is singular. The plural is peoples: The Greeks are a brave people. The peoples of Europe are often engaged in war.

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The school builds good character.
The school builds good characters.

The plural form characters denotes the letters of the alphabet or the people in a book or play.

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These errors are sometimes made by foreigners.
This errors are sometimes made by foreigners.

This changes to these if the noun that follows is in the plural.

Also avoid the use of this instead of the personal pronoun: John had the book but he gave this to his brother should be John had the book but he gave it to his brother.

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They're now using new machineries.
They're now using new machinery.

Machinery is a singular noun and always takes a singular verb and pronoun. We can say a piece of machinery or pieces of machinery

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