Skip to main content

Hello,

I know that we use much for uncountable nouns and many for countable, plus a lot of / lots of can be used in both cases informally.

My question, though, is when "a lot of" can replace "very much"? This question popped up when I was trying to write the sentences below and for some of them both sound ok to me, but some others sound odd to me, and I couldn't fine a precisa explanation on that.



- She studies a lot. / She studies very much.

- He likes chocolate very much / a lot.

- Does she dance a lot / very much?

- I don't like writing a lot / very much.

- I don't like strawberries very much / a lot.

- I like strawberries very much/ a lot.



I appreciate your time to help me.

Thank you so much! (by the way, in this case I could also say "thanks a lot" - which makes me even more curious right now).



All the best.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Hi, JessyA,

@JessyA posted:

My question, though, is when "a lot of" can replace "very much"? This question popped up when I was trying to write the sentences below and for some of them both sound ok to me, but some others sound odd to me, and I couldn't fine a precisa explanation on that.

1- She studies a lot. / She studies very much.

2- He likes chocolate very much / a lot.

3- Does she dance a lot / very much?

4- I don't like writing a lot / very much.

5- I don't like strawberries very much / a lot.

6- I like strawberries very much/ a lot.

Interesting question. Please note that "a lot" (not a lot of) and "very much" are adverbs of quantity, not determiners, in the sentences above, and as a result the countable/uncountable dichotomy plays no role here.

I've numbered your sentences for ease of reference (next time, please number them).

"very much" works better with transitive verbs (sentences 2 and 6) and in the negative (sentences 4 and 5), not only with transitive but also with intransitive verbs:

7- I don't sleep very much.

Instead, "a lot" works finely with both kinds of verbs, transitive (sentences 2 and 6) and intransitive (sentences 1 and 3), and clashes with the negative (notice that none of the sentences mentioned in this paragraph are in the negative form).

@JessyA posted:

Thank you so much! (by the way, in this case I could also say "thanks a lot" - which makes me even more curious right now).

"Thank you very much" and "thanks a lot" are set phrases. Even so, notice that "very much" works with "thank you" because this is a transitive verb (followed by an object: I thank you), and that "a lot" can be deemed to be a determiner in "thanks a lot" (= a lot of thanks).

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

Sorry, I know it's been a while since I last wrote this thread, but I was reviewing it now, and I still have a question:

In this sentence:

3- Does she dance a lot / very much?

It was said in the explanation that I could say: Does she dance a lot?, but what about "very much", as in: Does she dance very much?" ?

Even though it doesn't sound too wrong to me grammatically speaking, it does sound odd to my ears. Why's that?



Thank you so much in advance.

Regards,

Jess.

@JessyA posted:

In this sentence:

3- Does she dance a lot / very much?

It was said in the explanation that I could say: Does she dance a lot?, but what about "very much", as in: Does she dance very much?" ?

Even though it doesn't sound too wrong to me grammatically speaking, it does sound odd to my ears. Why's that?

It sounds odd because, as I said in the explanation I transcribe below, "very much" works better with transitive verbs in any form (affirmative, interrogative and negative), but only in the negative with intransitive verbs:

"very much" works better with transitive verbs (sentences 2 and 6) and in the negative (sentences 4 and 5), not only with transitive but also with intransitive verbs.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×