Much to

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Hi,
"Much to our regret, we are obliged to inform you that your application has not been successful."
What does "much to" mean? I guess "Much to our regret" mean "We regret very much."
Please explain to me. Thanks.
 
  • MaryJ

    Member
    Spain-Canada, Spanish French English Italian
    Hi,
    "Much to our regret, we are obliged to inform you that your application has not been successful."
    What does "much to" mean? I guess "Much to our regret" mean "We regret very much."
    Please explain to me. Thanks.

    It means they are very sorry to have to inform you that your application has been rejected.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi Mimi,

    There are multiple transformations (meaning inversions, deletions, substitutions) going on under the surface here. The deep structure might be "We regret it very much, but ..." and what you have finally is "much to our regret."

    You will see that construction in other such phrases. "Much to our dismay," etc.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, coiffe.
    I don't use "much", is it acceptable?
    "To our regret"
    Is "much" an intensive adverb in "Much to our regret"?
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    "Much to our regret" means that they are not only sorry that they have bad news for you, but they are sorry that they have to tell you the bad news. As MaryJ said, they are very sorry. If I were to hear, "Much to my regret," I would think that the person writing was really wanting the outcome to be different (that this was not a rejection letter) and were sorry to have to inform you differently.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    "Much to ..." is a fairly common locution.
    Your interpretation is correct.

    Mary finds Vietnamese cuisine very much to her liking.
    = Mary likes Vietnamese cuisine very much.

    Much to their shame, the schools do not teach French.
    = I think that the schools should be ashamed of themselves for not teaching French.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi, coiffe.
    I don't use "much", is it acceptable?
    "To our regret"
    Is "much" an intensive adverb in "Much to our regret"?

    Mimi,

    "Much" is usually called a "quantifier" (or "prenominal modifier") and falls into that category of quantifiers used before "mass nouns," i.e. "a little", "much", "a great deal of" ... These are contrasted with quantifiers that occur before count nouns only, like "a couple of", "several", "a few", "many", etc.

    So you would say "much spinach" but "many beans."

    But in the construction you have asked about, it's more an idiomatic phrase that, as I noted before, has come about through transformations under the surface.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you,
    Much to is a phrase which can't be separated.
    I came across this sentence with much in parenthesis.
    Is the usage of much to the same as much to we discussed?
    "Carl came last in the race, (much) to my amusement"
    = "Carl came last in the race, which caused amusement for me"
     

    Tariqqudsi

    New Member
    arabic
    i need your help please in translating this into spanish...

    i want to tell someone this...

    is it ok to tell you that i miss you????



    your cooperation will be highly appriciated.
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Thank you,
    Much to is a phrase which can't be separated.
    I came across this sentence with much in parenthesis.
    Is the usage of much to the same as much to we discussed?
    "Carl came last in the race, (much) to my amusement"
    = "Carl came last in the race, which caused amusement for me"

    Correct.
     
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