Harry swallowed.

Mr. Ollivander : "I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter... After all, he-who-must-not-be-named did great things - terrible, yes, but great."

Harry shivered. He wasn't sure he liked Mr. Ollivander too much.

It's from Harry potter and I completely understand the sentence without "too much". But the full sentence including that word sounds so awkward to me, because "too much" isn't really needed(necessary?) here if what the author wanted to say was just that harry wasn't sure if he liked Ollivander or not.

Does "too much" here literally means very much, so "Harry wasn't sure if he liked Ollivander VERY MUCH or not"(which sounds very weird to me) is what the author is saying, thus it basically means "Harry didnt like him very much", am I right? Or is there any other role of "too much" here?

  • 1
    It cushions Harry's dislike towards Ollivander in that too much means "excessively". So it does affect the meaning and cannot as easily be dispensed with, although it could be in theory.
    – user3395
    Jul 11, 2017 at 10:47

1 Answer 1


It's simply a colloquial variation on "not very much". It's generally used in the negative:

I don't like to drink wine too much.

She doesn't go to see her parents too much.

In general, "not very much" sounds more like standard English, so using "too much" can sound informal or (in Harry Potter's case) youthful. However, with other verbs, or in a different word order, using "not too much" can sound formal and polite:

I enjoyed the dinner, but I didn't care too much for the dessert.

It can also be used with verbs like "think" to mean "not very high" or "not very good":

A: What did you think of his business proposal?
B: I didn't think too much of it. It seems too risky for too little profit.

  • Thanks a lot:) So here, that sentence means "Harry didn't like him very much", am I right?
    – dbwlsld
    Jul 11, 2017 at 13:07
  • Yes, just that.
    – Andrew
    Jul 11, 2017 at 14:44

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