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Consider the use of "much as" in the following:

  1. Much as Jason needed money for a new car, he decided not to borrow it from the bank.

  2. Much as he needed money for a new car, Jason decided not to borrow it from the bank.

Are both acceptable? I was told by a teacher the first one is not right, please help.

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It really ought to be "As much as", but people often drop the first 'as' in conversation. But other than that I believe there is no semantic difference in the two. –  Jim Aug 17 '12 at 2:44
    
Related: “Much though” vs “much as”. –  RegDwigнt Aug 17 '12 at 8:34
    
What kind of teacher would think it makes any difference to the grammaticality of [as] much as which order he/Jason appear in? I think this is Too Localised. –  FumbleFingers Sep 2 '12 at 15:24
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closed as general reference by MετάEd, FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, tchrist, F'x Sep 12 '12 at 23:32

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers

Both those sentences should begin with “As much as” rather than “Much as”. Exchanging the noun and pronoun has no tangible effect on the grammar or meaning of the two sentences.

Much as is quite frequently used as illustrated in those two sentences, but my understanding of the case is that such use is misuse. The only time when much as should appear in proper English not preceded by so or as or similar adverb is when it's being used as part of a simile. Two examples are shown below. In both of them, much as can be replaced by just as or like with little effect on meaning.

She stretched, much as a cat would stretch.
Much as an eagle would do, he soared out of sight on his wings of thought.

By contrast, in the question's examples, a statement of extent is needed (to tell how much Jason needed the money), rather than a simile; hence “as much as” is appropriate and bare “much as” is not.

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+1 for adding the simile angle. –  Jim Aug 17 '12 at 5:04
    
+1 for a good answer. Although the primary purpose of 'as much as' is to compare, in the problem sentence it has an effect similar to 'despite (the degree to which)...' –  Barry Brown Aug 17 '12 at 7:35
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Both of them should be acceptable if you add the word "As" to the beginning. Using a proper noun versus a pronoun does not change the grammatical correctness.

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Under its entry for much, the OED gives much as, meaning ‘(in concessive use) as much as; however much; although.’ There are five supporting quotations including one from Thomas Jefferson and one from Thomas Hardy. In the whole of the OED there are 24 citations illustrating the use of Much as in sentence initial position. The notion that it should be as much as seems to be ill-founded.

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Much though would be my choice in these sentences: nobody would write * as much though. –  TimLymington Aug 17 '12 at 9:54
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