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For example, in a formal letter, is it correct to use

As much as they tighten the shackles, we will never surrender.

instead of

No matter how much they tighten the shackles, we will never surrender.

and if it is not correct is there another alternative to "No matter how much..." ?

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    The second example is appropriate. "As much as" has a different meaning. It can mean "even though" or "almost", or describe things being equal, depending on usage. – fixer1234 May 21 '17 at 6:39
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As much as is primarily used to say that two things are equal in amount or degree

He likes hockey as much as he likes basketball.

It has a secondary meaning as even though : despite the fact that.

As much as I respect him, I still have to disagree with him on this point.

In this sense the sentence As much as they tighten... can be rephrase as Even though (Despite the fact that) they tighten the shackles, we will never surrender.

But it seems to me still the most appropriate sentence is No matter how much they tighten the shackles, we will never surrender.

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