Difference between Much and More

Key difference: ‘Much’ is mainly used with uncountable nouns. Uncountable nouns are also nearly always singular, e.g. salt, cake, research, etc. Furthermore, in instances where countable and uncountable are not applicable, ‘much’ is used in only questions and in negative sentences, not positive or affirmative. ‘More’ is a word that is mainly used for comparison. It is used to show that the current quantity is more than the previous one; it is greater.

‘Much’ and ‘more’ are two terms that are used to denote quantity. However, the two terms differ in the manner that they can be used. The main difference between the two is that ‘many’ is mainly used to denote quantity, a certain number, whereas ‘more’ is used to denote additional or a greater quantity than before.

Let’s look at the actual definition of the words. Dictionary.com defines ‘much’ as:

  • Great in quantity, measure, or degree: too much cake.
  • A great quantity, measure, or degree: Much of his research was unreliable.
  • A great, important, or notable thing or matter: The house is not much to look at.
  • To a great extent or degree; greatly; far: to talk too much; much heavier.
  • Nearly, approximately, or about: This is much like the others.

‘Much’ is mainly used with uncountable nouns. Countable nouns and uncountable nouns just specify weather or not the thing that the sentence is referring to can be counted or not. For example: “How much salt is in the dish?” as opposed to “How many spoons to you need?” We cannot count the salt; hence the term ‘much’ is used, while we can most certainly count the number of spoons; hence ‘many’ is used.

Uncountable nouns are also nearly always singular, e.g. salt, cake, research, etc. Furthermore, in instances where countable and uncountable are not applicable, ‘much’ is used in only questions and in negative sentences, not positive or affirmative. For example: “I have to get lots of food for tomorrow’s party.” However, saying “I have to go get much food for tomorrow’s party” is not grammatically correct. Still, ‘much’ is fine in questions and negative sentences. “How much food do you have for tomorrow’s party?” “Not much.”

However, if ‘much’ is preceded by adverbs, such as ‘so’, ‘too’, or ‘as,’ it can be used in affirmative/positive sentences. For example: “I have to go get so much food for tomorrow’s party” or “I have so much shopping to do today.”

Examples:

  • How much milk do you want in your tea?
  • How much salt is there in this recipe?
  • How much money will it cost me?
  • This is what I get for drinking too much coffee.
  • How much sleep do you get every night?
  • I have so much work to do!
  • That’s too much rice for me to consume.
  • Train as much as possible, so you can be the best you can be.
  • How much do you love me?
  • How much milk do you want in your tea?
  • How much salt is there in this recipe?
  • She is a very funny girl. She is just too much.

‘More’ is a word that is mainly used for comparison. It is used to show that the current quantity is more than the previous one; it is greater. For example: “I do not have much money, but at least I have more than my father had when he was my age.”

Dictionary.com defines ‘more’ as:

  • In greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: I need more money.
  • Additional or further: Do you need more time? More discussion seems pointless.
  • An additional quantity, amount, or number: I would give you more if I had it. He likes her all the more. When I could take no more of such nonsense, I left.
  • A greater quantity, amount, or degree: More is expected of him. The price is more than I thought.
  • Something of greater importance: His report is more than a survey.
  • (Used with a plural verb) A greater number of a class specified, or the greater number of persons: More will attend this year than ever before.

Both, ‘more’ and ‘much’ can be used for comparison. For example: “His house is much better.” “His house was more expensive.” However, ‘more’ denotes that the comparison is between two things, such as his house and my house. Whereas, ‘much’ is a general statement or comparison than the other houses. It can be said that “His house is much better than your house” or “His house is much better than all our houses.”

Examples:

  • I need more money.
  • Did you get more money?
  • More people are switching to our company.
  • The lettuce was more expensive than the cabbage.
  • The carrots are more healthy than the French fries.
  • How about we have more cake?
  • Do we have more drinks?

Image Courtesy: ilovetypography.com, mackweldon.com

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Comments

I have a slight disagreement there because more can be used with research as well. You can also say much more research so that is an exception I believe. Otherwise, this is a very useful and informative answer.

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