not much fun

azz

Senior Member
Persian
a. It isn't much fun being old.
b. It isn't very much fun being old.


Which of the above is grammatically correct?

I am pretty sure (a) is correct. I think (b) might be as well. I am sure I have heard it, but I am not sure it is entirely grammatical. I am not sure one could use 'very much' in front of a noun.

Many thanks.
 
  • pacegiulia

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both sentences are correct, I think.
    Sentence (b) implies that the speaker is more unhappy than in sentence (a), because of the addition of "very".

    Hope this helps :)
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They’re fine grammatically, but the set phrase is as in the thread title – that something unpleasant is (expressed as typical British understatement) “not much fun”.

    The other truism in this context is “Old age is not for the faint-hearted”!
     
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    azz

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Thank you all very much.

    So, from a strictly grammatical point of view (b) works. Maybe it sounded a bit 'off' to me for the reason Lingobingo mentions (I love the truism about 'old age'... It is so true.,,, Maybe when old age comes, I won't be there to have to put up with it! (I am sure someone else has said something to that effect)).

    What do you think of these:

    c. He didn't have much money.
    d. He didn't have very much money.

    I think (b) is just wrong. Would you agree?

    Many thanks.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There’s no problem with using either much or very much in front of an uncountable noun, as a quantifier. But it’s important to note that, in this sort of construction, much rarely, if ever, works in positive statements, rather than in negatives and questions.

    He didn’t have very much money :tick:
    He had very much money :cross:
    He had lots of money :tick:
    Did he have very much money? :tick:
    He had very much more money than she did :tick:
     
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