Too much or a lot? Avoid this simple mistake!

Last week a student told me, “my job is perfect, I like it too much

In this case, it would be more correct for her to say “my job is perfect, I like it a lot”. Saying “I like my job too much” means you like your job more than you should, which wasn’t true in this case.

This is a very common mistake, but it’s simple to fix – let’s look at the difference between too much and a lot and check when you should use each one. 

Words like much, many and lot are quantifiers – that means we use them to talk about quantities and amounts.

A lot =  a large amount   

Too much or Too many = an excessive amount, more than is necessary. 

(to learn about the difference between much and many look at our ‘uncountable’ article)

That means my student was saying “I like my job an excessive amount” rather than “I like my job a large amount”.

Let’s look at some examples that show where  it’s best to use too much or a lot.

Too much / too many

I eat too much chocolate, I want to stop and be healthy

This job is taking too much time, I’ll finish it tomorrow

That speech lasted five hours  – she talked too much! 

There are too many people here, I’m going to leave.

A lot

I like this park a lot

There were a lot of people at the party, it was great!

I ate a  lot of food at lunch, I’m not hungry anymore

In summary, remember to use a lot when you are talking about something you like a large amount, and too much only when the amount is excessive and unnecessary. 

We hope this article helps you avoid this common mistake.  Let us know if you have any more examples! 

Follow us on Instagram @nativeenglishfast 

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