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  1. #1
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    Arrow Why "that much" ?

    According to grammar books, an adverb is used to modify a verb,an adjective, a sentence, or another adverb. But why can the adverb "that" be used to modify a pronoun "much" in "There isn't that much to do".
    How can I explain this to students?

  2. #2
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    This usage is meant to mean 'so' to some extent and is often interchangable. I think it comes from 'There isn't so much to do that I need your help.'

    'so' is used to express a certain extent or 'very.' 'that' is used when there is a defined extent or an understood amount.

    I think it's best to tell them it means 'so' but a defined amount. Then I would just give them loads of examples.

    I don't go there that often. (I don't go there as often as some people, as often as you, often enough to know the waiters, etc.)

    It's going to cost $1,000. We need that much. (that = $1,000 worth)

    There isn't that much to do. (so much that I have to do it right now, so much that I need your help, so much that ...)

    I hope that helps.

    Mark
    www.mes-english.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    THanks!

    I know "that" means "so",but I wonder why an adverb "that" can be used to modify a pronoun "much". Is that an except to the grammar rules.

  4. #4
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    I don't think it is a pronoun. It isn't substituting for the word. It is expressing a quanity of the word. Did it say in the textbook or anywhere that it is pronoun?

    I could be wrong. It has happened before, but I check 2 dictionaries and they only list much as adv. adj. and noun. So, I'm assuming it is acting as a noun in your example.

  5. #5
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    (much) is not a pronoun

    it could be an adjective or an adverb

    for example ;

    i want to buy a car but it will cost me much money

    much in this sentence is an adjective

    ....................

    the money i have got is too much

    much in this sentence is an adverb



    (that) is a pronoun , when we use it with (much) we say ;

    That is not much money , we need more

    Is that much money enough to buy a car ?

    That money i've got is too much


    (that) still a pronoun

    (much) is an adjective or an adverb




    Last edited by Claire Redfield; 23-Sep-2005 at 14:19.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Redfield
    (much) is not a pronoun

    it could be an adjective or an adverb

    for example ;

    i want to buy a car but it will cost me much money

    much in this sentence is an adjective

    ....................

    the money i have got is too much

    much in this sentence is an adverb



    (that) is a pronoun , when we use it with (much) we say ;

    That is not much money , we need more

    Is that much money enough to buy a car ?

    That money i've got is too much


    (that) still a pronoun

    (much) is an adjective or an adverb




    "much" in "There isn't that much to do" is indeed a pronoun. You may look it up in Oxford Dictionary.

  7. #7
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    for me , it doesn't make sense that ((much)) is a pronoun in this sentence

    thanks anyway and i'll check it

  8. #8
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    I looked up much in the Oxford advanced Learners online and it has

    det., pron. used with uncountable nouns, especially in negative sentences to mean ‘a large amount of sth’ (no example sentence)

    Meriam Webster ( www.webster.com ) only has one listing for much as a pronoun and that is as 'so much'

    1 : something (as an amount or price) unspecified or undetermined <charge so much a mile>
    2 : all that can be or is to be said or done <so much for the history of the case>

    Maybe by using 'that' you are defining how much and it no longer fits definition 1 as a pronoun and fits better into the noun description below.

    As a noun

    Function: noun
    1 : a great quantity, amount, extent, or degree <gave away much>
    2 : something considerable or impressive <was not much to look at>

    Maybe its role is debatable. I would say much is acting as a noun in your example, but it's a great question.

    Mark
    Last edited by mesmark; 25-Sep-2005 at 12:43.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why "that much" ?

    that has one form but five functions:

    [1] demonstrative pronoun; e.g., That book is expensive.
    [2] substantive noun; e.g., That is expensive.
    [3] conjunction; e.g., He said (that) he was fine.
    [4] relative pronoun; e.g., books that have been sold
    [5] adverb, synonymous with 'so', meaning, to such a degree; e.g., The fish you caught wasn't that big!

    If 'that' comes before a noun, it's a demonstrative pronoun (That fish); if 'that' stands alone, it's a substantive noun (That is); if 'that' refers back to a noun, it's a relative pronoun (books that have been sold); if 'that' can be omitted without changing the sentence's meaning, it's a conjunction (He said (that) he), and if 'that' can be replaced by 'so', it's an adverb (that big!).

    Consider now,

    Max: We have six more papers to correct.
    Pat: We don't have that much to do!

    'that' refers back to 'six more papers', so it functions as a demonstrative pronoun. 'much' functions as a noun, a substantive noun. Note, 'much' is the object of the verb 'have'.

    In short,

    EX: We don't have that (demonstrative pronoun) much (noun) to do.

    Note, what Oxford calls a pronoun; i.e., much (pron.) is another way of saying, 'much' is a pro-form, "a substitution":

    much stuff => that much stuff to do => that much to do
    many papers => that many papers to do => that many to do

    Above, both 'much' and 'many' substitute for 'much stuff' and 'many papers', respectively. They function substantively, just like pronouns;e.g., She = Mary : : much = the amount of six more papers.

    All the best,

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