Language tip of the week: much

Posted by on December 06, 2012

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English which learners often find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.

This week some advice about the grammar word much:

Much is only used with uncountable nouns:
The President failed to get much help from the Europeans.

It is never followed by a plural noun. With plural nouns, use many:
✗ Using credit cards appropriately can bring much benefits to students.
✓ Using credit cards appropriately can bring many benefits to students.
✗ Workers experience much breathing problems with passive smoking.
✓ Workers experience many breathing problems with passive smoking.

In the same way, too much and so much are only used with uncountable nouns. With plural nouns, use too many or so many:
✗ We have cut down too much trees to make paper.
✓ We have cut down too many trees to make paper.
✗ There are still so much questions that need to be answered.
✓ There are still so many questions that need to be answered.

More language tips

Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

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