WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
much
‘very much’
You use very much to say that something is true to a great extent.
I enjoyed it very much.
When very much is used with a transitive verb, it usually goes after the object. Don't use it immediately after the verb. Don't say, for example, ‘I enjoyed very much the party’. Say ‘I enjoyed the party very much’.
Be careful
In positive sentences, don't use much without very. Don't say, for example, ‘I enjoyed it much’ or ‘We much agree’ Say ‘I enjoyed it very much’ or ‘We very much agree’.
In negative sentences, you can use much without ‘very’.
I didn't like him much.
The situation is not likely to change much.
‘much’ meaning ‘often’
You can also use much in negative sentences and questions to mean ‘often’.
She doesn't talk about them much.
Does he come here much?
Be careful
Don't use ‘much’ in positive sentences to mean ‘often’. Don't say, for example, ‘He comes here much’.
Many other words and expressions can be used to indicate degree.
Adverbs and adverbials (for a graded list of words used to indicate degree)
used with comparatives
You often use much or very much in front of comparative adjectives and adverbs. For example, if you want to emphasize the difference in size between two things, you can say that one thing is much bigger or very much bigger than the other.
She was much older than me.
Now I can work much more quickly.
Much more and very much more can be used in front of a noun to emphasize the difference between two quantities or amounts.
She needs much more time to finish the job.
We had much more fun than we expected.
‘much too’
You use much too in front of an adjective to say that something cannot be done or achieved because someone or something has too much of a quality.
The bedrooms were much too cold.
The price is much too high for me.
Be careful
In sentences like these you put much in front of too, not after it. Don't say, for example, ‘The bedrooms were too much cold’.
used as a determiner
You use much in front of an uncountable noun to talk about a large quantity or amount of something. Much is usually used like this in negative sentences, in questions, or after too, so, or as.
I don't think there is much risk involved.
Is this going to make much difference?
The President has too much power.
My only ambition is to make as much money as possible.
In positive sentences, a lot of is usually used instead of ‘much’, especially in conversation and less formal writing.
There is a lot of risk involved in what he's doing.
➜ See lot
In more formal writing, much is sometimes used, especially before abstract nouns such as discussion, debate, or attention.
Much emphasis has been placed on equality of opportunity in education.
‘much of’
In front of it, this, or that, use much of, not ‘much’.
We saw a film but I don't remember much of it.
Much of this is already possible.
You also use much of in front of a noun phrase which begins with a determiner, such as the or a, or a possessive, such as my or his.
Much of the food was vegetarian.
Carla spends much of her time helping other people.
In positive sentences, a lot of is usually used instead of ‘much of’, especially in conversation and less formal writing.
She spends a lot of her free time reading.
➜ See lot
used as a pronoun
You can use much as a pronoun to refer to a large quantity or amount of something.
There wasn't much to do.
Much has been learned about how the brain works.
Be careful
You don't usually use ‘much’ as an object pronoun in positive sentences. Instead you use a lot. For example, don't say ‘He knows much about butterflies’. Say ‘He knows a lot about butterflies’.
She talks a lot about music.
I've learned a lot from him.
➜ See lot
‘how much’
You use how much when you are asking the price of something.
I like that dress – how much is it?
➜ See how much
Be careful
Don't use ‘much’ or ‘much of’ with plural countable nouns, to talk about a large number of people or things. Use many or many of.
➜ See many
'very much' also found in these entries:
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