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I knew that admire can be used in phrases like "admire somebody" or "admire somebody for something", but recently I have found the following sentence in my Collins dictionary:

If you emulate something or someone, you imitate them because you admire them a great deal.

Is the meaning of "admire them a great deal" is "admire them, because they've made a great deal"? Would it have a different meaning, if I wrote "admire them for a great deal" or "admire their great deal"? What are other examples of the use of admire in the same way?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Admire is not being used in a special way in this sentence. The cause of your confusion is that the phrase "a great deal" is not actually an argument of the verb.

Instead, "a great deal" is functioning as an adverb in this phrase — its form is much like the more common adverb phrase, "a lot". Saying "you admire them a great deal" is like saying "you admire them very much" or "you admire them greatly".

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To stick a bit closer to a great deal you might prefer you greatly admire them or you admire them greatly – Dusty Nov 22 '10 at 0:39
Sounds good; I added "greatly" into my answer. – Kosmonaut Nov 22 '10 at 1:07
I wonder if the original poster would have been less confused if he had read "...you admire them a great amount"? "Deal" is obviously quite an archaic word, which really only survives to this day in idiomatic phrases like "a good deal" and "a great deal". – thesunneversets Nov 22 '10 at 1:40
Thank you. Now it's clear. – fiktor Nov 22 '10 at 6:05

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