Much vs. Very

In fact, 'much' and 'very' are the same in their meanings.

"Much" vs. "Very" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

There are delicate differences between 'much' and 'very', but the main difference between them refers to their grammatical functions which we will discuss in the article.


Grammatical Functions

  • 'Much':
  1. determiner
  2. adverb
  3. pronoun

As an adverb, 'much' can be used before an adjective to modify it. 'Much' as a pronoun is used without any nouns. However, what they refer to is obvious. As a determiner is used before a noun.

My sister's room is much bigger than mine.

Alex didn't say much about his trip. → pronoun

After much consideration, they have finally arrived at a decision. → determiner

  • 'Very':
  1. adverb
  2. adjective

'Very' as an adverb is used to emphasize an adjective, adverb or phrase. As an adjective, it is used to emphasize that you are talking about one exact particular thing/person.

The soccer player was very angry that he couldn't get the point. → adverb

Those were his very words. → adjective

Very Much

Sometimes in some situations, we are not allowed to use 'very' alone, in this case, we can use 'very much' instead. For example, we can not use 'very' before past participles in passive voice. We use the phrase 'Very much' instead. However, 'very' alone, can be used before adjectives that end in -ed. Remember, before comparative adjectives, we use 'very much' not 'very'. It is good to know that we can use 'much' in passive voice and before comparative adjectives.

He seemed very much younger, last time I saw him.

The lunch was very much enjoyed by the guests.

Not Very

We use 'not very' when we want to soften a negative comment. Check out the examples for more clarification.

The show was not very amusing.

I think, you are not very good at math.


  1. 'Much' and 'very':

As they have different grammatical functions. They are different, but somehow they can be similar in their meanings. It is better to say that they both refer to a large extent.

What he said to me was very painful.

I asked a much personal question, so he did not answer it.


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