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I need to mark that someone made some effort to recommend third person services and it was something more than "he is good in that".

Checking a dictionary, much is an adverb meaning "to a great extent; a great deal"

Is the phrase "He the recommended you much" suitable for showing such praise? Is there a better way? If there is, why?

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We would normally say He recommended you highly. –  StoneyB Feb 17 '13 at 18:36
    
Added a little research. Much is an adverb. Perhaps there is something unusual about the verb recommend. –  Andrew Leach Feb 17 '13 at 18:38
    
I have heard something like "He recommended you muchly" ... but only as a joke. –  GEdgar Feb 17 '13 at 20:16
    
Much can be an adverb, but is little used in a positive sense in the UK (I think it is used a bit more in the US). However very much is widely used as an adverbial expression in the UK, both positive and negative. –  Colin Fine Feb 17 '13 at 22:29
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

No.

Much is used more in negative than in affirmative contexts. A lot has no such restriction, and that's one reason why it's so common.

  • I've never liked it a lot.
  • I've never liked it much.
  • I've always liked it a lot.
  • *I've always liked it much.

Another reason a lot is common is because it doesn't distinguish mass from count nouns; there's a similar pattern for many, with plural count nouns.

  • I never eat a lot of them at once.
  • I never eat many of them at once.
  • I always eat a lot of them at once.
  • *I always eat many of them at once.

Much and many are on the NPI list, but they're not quite NPIs; there are a lot of affirmative environments where they can appear grammatically. Of course, as quantifiers, they already participate in a slew of idioms and odd constructions, so that's not really news.

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