too much of a_____ vs. too much______

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powerfort

Member
Tagalog
Can anyone tell me the difference between, for example the phrases below:

too much of a risk

and

too much risk

Are they interchangeable? Is the phrase too much of a an idiomatic expression and on what situations (phrases) can i use it?
 
Last edited:
  • powerfort

    Member
    Tagalog
    I'm wondering why anyone can't answer this question. Is this too straightforward that i should already know what it means?
     

    powerfort

    Member
    Tagalog
    Yes I am sure. Thanks for your reply.

    I was watching an anime episode and one of the character says:

    As much as i want them to know i'm ok, i'm scared it would be too much of a risk. I just don't want to put them in that kind of danger.

    So that's why i asked if the bold-faced phrase is interchangeable with too much risk. Any ideas about this? This is pretty straightforward. I just want some kind of confirmation. Thanks.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Can anyone tell me the difference between, for example the phrases below:

    too much of a risk

    and

    too much risk

    Are they interchangeable? Is the phrase too much of a an idiomatic expression and on what situations (phrases) can i use it?
    Too much of a risk means the same thing as too much risk - which is not to say they are interchangeable. What distinguishes the expressions is the use of the variable noun risk. A variable noun is a noun that combines the behavior of both count and uncount nouns. An uncount noun can be used without determiner. When saying too much risk, we use the uncount form of the noun risk. If risk had been a regular count noun, it wouldn't have worked. For example: Too much of a dream to be real vs. Too much dream to be real, the second instance being ungrammatical.
     

    powerfort

    Member
    Tagalog
    Too much of a risk means the same thing as too much risk - which is not to say they are interchangeable. What distinguishes the expressions is the use of the variable noun risk. A variable noun is a noun that combines the behavior of both count and uncount nouns. An uncount noun can be used without determiner. When saying too much risk, we use the uncount form of the noun risk. If risk had been a regular count noun, it wouldn't have worked. For example: Too much of a dream to be real vs. Too much dream to be real, the second instance being ungrammatical.
    thanks EStjarn...I really appreciate your answer
     

    baldpate

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Here's another way of looking at it:

    Too much of a risk" (and the equivalent expression "too great a risk") is largely interchangeable with "too risky" - which shows that "too much of a risk" is essentially adjectival in nature, since "risky" is an adjective.

    "Too much risk", on the other hand essentially has the same gramatical nature as rhe word "risk" itself - i.e it is a noun.

    So the two aren't interchangeable.
     

    powerfort

    Member
    Tagalog
    thanks baldpate.

    How come i couldn't find these phrases on a dictionary? All of those phrases containing a just keeps confusing me like many a, too much of a, too great a and what else? Can anyone give me some more phrases like this. Can you also provide some meanings and examples too? Just whatever you can think of off the top of your head. Thanks in advance.
     
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