Much, a lot, lots, a good deal : adverbs - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Much, a lot, lots, a good deal: adverbs

from English Grammar Today

We use much, a lot, lots and a good deal as adverbs to refer to frequency, quantity and degree.

Much

We use much in questions and negative clauses to talk about degrees of something. We put it in end position:

I don’t like the sea much.

Warning:

We don’t use much in affirmative clauses:

I hadn’t seen my mother for a month. I’d missed her a lot.

Not: … I’d missed her much.

In informal styles, we often use much in questions and negative clauses to mean ‘very often’:

Do you see Peter much?

I haven’t played tennis much this year.

In formal styles, we use much as an intensifier meaning ‘really’ with verbs that express likes and dislikes:

He much enjoyed his week in the 5-star hotel.

Thank you for your help. It was much appreciated.

Very much

We often use very much as an intensifier in affirmative and negative clauses and questions:

[in a formal letter]

Please find attached my report. I very much welcome your comments.

Is she very much like her father?

Warning:

With the verb like we don’t put very much between the verb and its object:

I like comedy films very much.

Not: I like very much comedy films.

Too much, so much

We often use too much to mean an excessive amount, ‘more than enough’:

He talks too much.

You worry too much.

We can also use so much to mean to a large degree’ or ‘a large amount’ or ‘a lot’:

She’s changed so much. I hardly recognised her.

I’ve eaten so much.

A lot, a good deal and a great deal

We can use a lot, a good deal and a great deal as adverbs of frequency, quantity or degree:

A:

Have you ever been to Brosh?

B:

Actually we go there a lot.

I’m really hungry now. I didn’t have a lot for breakfast.

A good deal and a great deal are more formal than a lot.

Compare
A:

How’s your mum?

B:

She’s feeling a good deal better, thanks.

A:

How’s your mum?

B:

She’s feeling a lot better, thanks.

She always worries a great deal.

She always worries a lot.

(“Much, a lot, lots, a good deal : adverbs” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press.)
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