Too much vs much too


As a quantifier, ‘too much’ means ‘an excess of’ needing a noun group; it simply denotes overfull, and will only quantify volumes (i.e. too much coffee, too much rain) whereas ‘much too’ is a secondary modifier, of an adjective or adverb and it means strong by a large margin; it can modify the whole phrase too strong (i.e. much too fast, much too heavy). Too much modifies a noun, a verb, or an adverb, and much too modifies an adjective or an adverb.

Too much = great in quantity, measure, or degree; an intolerable, impossible, or exhausting situation or experience. We use too much if the quantity becomes too big, much is preceded by too: ‘too much cake’, ‘the suffering was too much for her’, the defeat proved a little bit too much for us’.


Example sentences of too much

That’s too much.

She talks too much. 

They haven’t got too much time.

The country’s junta leader has too much power.

There’s far too much sugar in my coffee. 

When the pressure got too much, they had to bow out and quit.

She has been assigned too much homework.

There is too much chemical waste in the river.


Be careful!

Don’t say too much hot or too much full. Instead say, much too hot or much too full.


Much too = describes an excessive quantity; much too is less frequent and its construction is made with an adjective; MUCH TOO + ADJECTIVE: ‘The chicken curry was much too salty’; ‘the interview was much too tough for most of the students’; this suitcase is much too heavy, you can’t carry it! (much has the function of ‘increasing’; denotes the suitcase far too heavy).


Example sentences of much too

You are much too late.

She was driving much too fast.

Our opponents are much too powerful.

The place was much too cold.

The price is much too high for us.

The trunk is much too big for that little porter.

You are flying much too high, Daniel, we must need oxygen.

This house is much too expensive for us to buy.


Notice that in sentences like these we place much in front of too, not after it. For example:

The place was too much cold.    X

The place was much too cold.   


Much too much = a far larger amount of something than you want or need: You’ve drunk much too much to drive’; ‘I’ve much too much to do’.


Notice that ‘much too much’ has also a ‘funny’ expression describing a real excess or exaggeration:

She’s talked much too much today… she’d better start learning to be silent!


More example sentences of too much

Is it too much to ask to have a seat beside her?

They have too much to deal with right now.

There’s been too much rain and the lakes are overflowing their banks.

Sarcasm was obviously too much for her as she closed the door briskly after her.

The lesson was maybe a little bit too much for them, but how else do you learn?’

He needs to have his eyesight tested because he watches too much TV.

Since she’s been working too much, her condition is deteriorating.

He drank too much wine at the party and collapsed outside the club.

Much as Emma likes stirring up a bit of a buzz, there are times when it can be too much even for her.

Emma’s got exams next week and she has just started her new Yoga classes, so she’s already got too much on her plate.

More example sentences of much too

She doesn’t want to go to the movies tonight because she’s much too tired.

Liam said that the novel was boring and it was much too lengthy.

I think our new English teacher speaks much too quickly.

The car is moving much too slowly; I think there’s some problem.

Though she’s working much too hard, she’s not letting the boss take advantage of her.


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