I have a book which says that very is used before present participle e.g. very interesting, very daring, very entertaining etc and much before past participle like much amazed, much grieved, much surprised etc. Then the author has given few exceptions where very is used with past participle e.g. very tired, very dejected, very contented etc.

He has given a few sentences in exercise section for error correction. One of them is :

Being much contented with the sincerity of the members of the staff, the chief minister said that the state needed sincere men like them.

As per him I need to replace much contented with very contented as it is from one of those exceptions.

My question is is there any other reason/ logic why very is used here not much, in other words Do I need to cram all those exceptions or there is any work around to find such errors in usage of much/very ?

  • Have you heard of participial adjectives. Btw, the rule is quite nonsense to me.
    – user178049
    Aug 26, 2017 at 4:15
  • Very contended is not idiomatic, at least not to my ear, so I'd take everything in the book with a grain of salt. That example sentence, for example, is simply horrible writing. I expect he means "much contented" and not "much contended", as these are very different words ... but even so, it's still a mess.
    – Andrew
    Aug 26, 2017 at 5:12
  • This comment might be off-topic, but I think you should shake the book off. See also resources for learning English
    – user178049
    Aug 26, 2017 at 5:35


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