How to Use “Too Much” in English

Posted on October 7, 2016

By Emily Stallard, Owner and Trainer at Orchid English

This is a really common mistake our students make. They say “the explanation was too much detailed” or “we were too much early”. What’s wrong with this? Here’s how to use “too much” in English. 

Adjectives

In English we use “too much” with an uncountable noun, and not with an adjective. With adjectives such as “detailed” or “early”, we use “too” not “too much”. The correct sentence is “the explanation was too detailed”. If you want to emphasise your point, you can say “the explanation was much too detailed”.

Nouns

To use “too much” with nouns, the nouns must be grammatically uncountable.  Grammatically uncountable nouns include “money, “information”, or “equipment”. You can’t say “I have one money”. Grammatically countable nouns include “people”, “pens” or coins”. You CAN say “I have one person”. It’s only with grammatically countable nouns that you can use“too much”.

So this is the correct form:

  • “There is too much money”
  • “There is too much  information
  • “There is too much  equipment

Not: There is too much people

Negative Sentences

For the negative, you can use “not enough” for countable and uncountable nouns: “I don’t have enough information and I don’t have enough pens”.

Test Yourself

So now you know how to use “too much” in English. To practise countable versus uncountable nouns, there is a great quiz here. Good luck! 

 

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