Are both of these sentences acceptable?

I would so much like to thank you.

I would like to thank you so much.

If both are acceptable then which one is more formal? And what part of speech is [so much]? Adverb?

Edit: For future reference, I add some citations from Google Books and COCA as current evidences to the possibility of splitting the collocated verbs "would like" in modern English. You can do a Google search to find others but I want to quote from sources that are generally more credible.

And I can assure you, Jonathan, that as far as we are concerned, we are going to make every effort on our part. We have done everything we can also to create the right environment, and we do hope that the Chinese leaders in Beijing will similarly be sincere in their effort and we will work together to see His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, as a solution, not a problem

MANN The people of Tibet would so much like to see him, and I know that he would like to see them. He has been invited back to Tibet. The governor of Tibet says that as long as he recognizes that Tibet is part of China, he is welcome to return. Do you think he will go back?

Source: CNN Insight, 2003 via COCA

My dear Fraulein, For your dear, kind, friendly letter I would so much like to thank you. You know, of course, what pleasure you give by remembering me, and yet gratitude is never expressed in words ...

Enchanting Jenny Lind - Page 210 - 1939

The translation is as follows : Leipzig, 2yd Dec, 1845. My dear Fraulein, For your dear, kind, friendly, letter I would so much like to thank you, and say how much pleasure you have given ...

The life of Jenny Lind - Page 56 - 1978

In her message of thanks to the people after the April 30th celebrations, Juliana said in a nationwide broadcast: "I would so much like to thank you all personally, for what you have written to me, for your gifts, and for everything which I so value ...

Europe - Issue 235 - Page 244 - 1983

3 Answers 3


I would like to thank you so much

Here the so much is a modifier to "thank"; it means that you desire to offer thanks, and the thanking would be particularly grateful.

I would so much like to thank you

Here the so much is a modifier to "would like"; it means that your desire to offer thanks is very strong.

In both cases I believe it qualifies as adverbial in nature.

Generally speaking, I would say the first is preferred simply because it's the intended meaning.

  • Because the placement of so much in the 2nd sentence is between would and like I thought you would say it modifies like only not would like. So did you overlook that or is it that would like are considered sort of linked regardless of whatever comes in between?
    – learner
    Jan 7, 2014 at 23:38

"I would like to thank you so much." Another way of saying this is "I would like to thank you very much."

In the above sentence, the phrase so much is an adverbial phrase, as it describes the nominal infinitive to thank. To thank here is a nominal infinitive acting as the direct object in the sentence.

  • Thank you @Wally. Any thoughts about the other sentence? I think the second is an adverbial phrase that modifies like, isn't it?
    – learner
    Jan 7, 2014 at 22:09
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    The other sentence hits the ear wrong. I don't know the exact technical reasons why but it would never be said. Jan 7, 2014 at 22:33
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    "I would so much like to thank you." No American English speaker would use this sentence. We just would never say it that way. It sounds like you are splitting the verb "would like to thank" which is similar to splitting an infinitive verb.
    – Wally
    Jan 8, 2014 at 14:29
  • I though I could never split "would like" but perhaps you were talking about the whole phrase nowadays i.e. that specific scenario. Otherwise, Google Books gives out 57,700 results for the query "would so much like to", and gives 4 results for "would so much like to thank you" and one as recent as 1983. I may add some of them to the post up for future reference. Edit: I forgot to cite one recent reference, 2003, from CNN via COCA corpus for the phrase above but without the pronoun I. Conclusion: it's not wrong but emphatic & rare.
    – learner
    Jan 9, 2014 at 4:47

The sentences have a different meaning. In one, the modifier "so much" is applied to "to like", whereas in the other one it is applied to "to thank".

"So much" is a common intensifier added to "thank":

Thank you so much!

On the other hand, "I would so much like" usually has the connotations that "I want to do something, but I cannot for some reason".

I would so much like to travel, but I'm broke.

This interpretation could apply to a sentence about thanking:

I would so much like to thank Bob for his excellent advice, but I can't seem to be able to get a hold of him.

For this reason, I would avoid the form "I would so much like to thank you". If someone said it to me, I would jokingly reply with, "Then please do; is there anything standing in your way?"

  • Crystal clear; excellent!
    – learner
    Jan 9, 2014 at 6:21
  • I understand that it's better to avoid slippery phrases like this but it's been said, context is everything. So in this quote (taken from my updated post above), do you think it falls into the joking example you gave? "Juliana said in a nationwide broadcast: "I would so much like to thank you all personally, for what you have written to me, for your gifts"
    – learner
    Jan 9, 2014 at 6:37

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