You don’t know how/how much I love you.

shorty1

Senior Member
Korean
Dear folks.


Source : I made them up.

#1. You don’t know how I love you.
#2. You don’t know how much I love you.

Both are the same? or do I have to necessarily put 'much' after 'how' to express the extent of loving you like #2?


Many thanks. :)
 
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you want to be very clear that they are ignorant as to the extent of your love, then the inclusion of 'much' would seem necessary.

    That said, matters of the heart tend to proceed along ambiguous lines.
     
    Last edited:

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo, short.

    My impression is that whilst #2. You don’t know how much I love you. is exclusively "quantitative", it'd be possible to pronounce #1. with a strong emphasis on "how" in order to focus on the quality of your love.
    I may be wrong, of course.

    GS :)
     

    shorty1

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you for your help, Beryl, Giorgio and boozer. :)

    I assume that when English native speakers come across the sentence, “You don’t know how I love you.”, it would be automatically interpreted as “You don’t know how much I love you.” in their brains because ‘love’ itself is a gradable verb.

    I sometimes come across this type of sentence like for example-“How did you like her?”

    But I’m not sure if my assumption is right.. :confused:
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Yes, I would automatically assume that 'how much I love you' was meant. Who knows what might transpire in the presence of context, though...
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I assume that when English native speakers come across the sentence, “You don’t know how I love you.”, it would be automatically interpreted as “You don’t know how much I love you.”
    Without Giorgio's verbal emphasis, I would only take it as "the manner" or "in what way". You don't know if my love for you is romantic, sexual, platonic, paternal, ...
     

    shorty1

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, boozer and Myridon. :)

    I get it.

    “How did you like her?”

    I found this sentence in my grammar book, the title of which is a comprehensive grammar of the English language.
    In this case, I assume that ‘how’ would indicate ‘extent’ or ‘degree’ unlike the ‘how’ in the first sentence, right?
     
    Last edited:

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    “How did you like her?”

    I found this sentence in my grammar book, the title of which is a comprehensive grammar of the English language.
    In this case, I assume that ‘how’ would indicate ‘extent’ or ‘degree’ unlike the ‘how’ in the first sentence, right?
    No, it is a general question, basically, about whether or not you liked her at all. The answer may well be 'Quite frankly, I was not at all impressed.'

    PS> Would that book of yours, by any chance, be Randolph Quirk's Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language? The size of a brick-thick newspaper? :D
     

    shorty1

    Senior Member
    Korean
    No, it is a general question, basically, about whether or not you liked her at all. The answer may well be 'Quite frankly, I was not at all impressed.'

    PS> Would that book of yours, by any chance, be Randolph Quirk's Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language? The size of a brick-thick newspaper? :D
    Thank you for the comment, boozer. :)

    The grammar book says:
    (cf Note[a] above). How, how much, how far, and to what extent are used with gradable verbs as intensifying wh-elements: How did you like her?, How much do you miss him?, How far do they agree with us?, To what extent would you trust them?

    Judging from the explanation, “How did you like her?” here seems to be used as the same meaning as “How much did you like her?”

    But, I wonder if native speakers actually accept it this way in a daily conversation.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top