It won't be much longer ['much' determiner? / 'longer' adjective?]

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WildWest

Senior Member
Turkish
"It won't be much longer"

That sentence above is quite clear to understand, but what I want to know is something different. I'm not very good at sorting out the components of a sentence and that's why I'm here.

I think the word much is working as determiner here and the word longer is working as an adjective. Is that correct?
 
  • Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo, Wild.

    My impression is that much is an adverb, meaning "by a large degree", and longer the comparative degree of the adjective long.

    GS :)
    PS remember, though, that a sentence should never be quoted in isolation.
     
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    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Hullo, Wild.

    My impression is that much is an adverb, meaning "by a large degree", and longer the comparative degree of the adjective long.

    GS :)
    PS remember, though, that a sentence should never be quoted in isolation.
    At the beginning, I thought the same. But isn't the verb to be supposed to be followed by a noun or an adjective?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The verb 'to be' is followed by the adjective 'longer.'
    'Much' is an adverb modifying that adjective, and doesn't alter the basic syntax of the sentence: noun + 'be' + adjective. In other words, 'much' doesn't 'count' when we analyze the basic structure.
     

    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    The verb 'to be' is followed by the adjective 'longer.'
    'Much' is an adverb modifying that adjective, and doesn't alter the basic syntax of the sentence: noun + 'be' + adjective. In other words, 'much' doesn't 'count' when we analyze the basic structure.
    Thanks for your reply, Cagey. I didn't know the word "much" didn't count and affect the basic structure here. Thanks again for informing me.
     

    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I'm not sure if it's counted as bumping the thread, but I have another question regarding this subject.

    What is the difference between saying "It won't be much longer" and "It won't be much long"?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    What is the difference between saying "It won't be much longer" and "It won't be much long"?
    Only the first one is correct. It doesn't really make sense to say "It won't be much long", although you could say "It won't be very long"
     
    Yes, kind of. Much, far and way (colloquial) are used to modify comparatives only:
    Your suit is much better than mine.
    The situation proved far more complicated than I had expected.
    The road is way longer than you may think of it.
     
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    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Yes, kind of. Much, far and way (colloquial) are used to modify comparatives only:
    Your suit is much better than mine.
    The situation proved far more complicated than I had expected.
    The road is way longer than you may think of it.
    Thanks a lot. I think I see better now. We cannot say "much good". It sounds awful, unnatural and so on.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    We cannot say "much good". It sounds awful, unnatural and so on.
    We can and do say 'not much good' (though there 'good' is a noun and 'much' an adjective).
    Similarly, we say 'Much good may it do you!'
    We also say 'much loved', 'much admired', 'much appreciated' etc.
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    As regards the original question, I'd say that there are two options here: to consider "longer" an adjective, and to consider it an adverb. Everything depends on context;).

    If the "it" refers to something specific, then I'd say that "longer" is an adjective: My hair is really short now and it won't be much longer by next February.

    If "longer" refers to a period of time, as in It won't be long before we reach {place X}, and it won't be much longer before we reach {place Y}, then I'd say it's an adverb:).
     

    WildWest

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    We can and do say 'not much good' (though there 'good' is a noun and 'much' an adjective).
    Similarly, we say 'Much good may it do you!'
    We also say 'much loved', 'much admired', 'much appreciated' etc.
    I haven't heard the second structure, but I've seen the others below so many times and I'm used to them. Thanks, by the way.

    As regards the original question, I'd say that there are two options here: to consider "longer" an adjective, and to consider it an adverb. Everything depends on context;).

    If the "it" refers to something specific, then I'd say that "longer" is an adjective: My hair is really short now and it won't be much longer by next February.

    If "longer" refers to a period of time, as in It won't be long before we reach {place X}, and it won't be much longer before we reach {place Y}, then I'd say it's an adverb:).
    Thank you too, Loob, for your explanation.
     
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