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    #1

    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?


    • Join Date: May 2005
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    #2

    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


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    #3

    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.


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    #4

    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.

  1. Claire Redfield's Avatar

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    #5

    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 13:19.


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    #6

    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.

  2. Claire Redfield's Avatar

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    #7

    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


    • Join Date: May 2005
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    #8

    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 11:43.

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #9

    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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