Can I use "much" before any adjective in the meaning of "very" ?

I'm not much good at knitting

I'm very much aware of the problem.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

If this sentences above are correct, why the following sentences are considered to be wrong?

He is a much interesting person.

You are much welcome.

His face is much red.

  • Possible duplicate of much - very much, many - very many? Apr 21, 2019 at 16:21
  • 1
    @WeatherVane I am not asking the usage of much before uncountable nouns, I am asking the usage before adjectives. Apr 21, 2019 at 16:23
  • Interesting question. It seems to me that "much" by itself can only be used in negative contexts while "very much" can be used in positive statements. Apr 21, 2019 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


I'm not much good at knitting -> correct because it's a negative use of "much".

I'm very much aware of the problem. -> correct because "much" is part of "very much".

There are some cases where it seems grammatical. For example, "he was much annoyed" is fine. But that's probably because "annoyed" is both an adjective and a past participle of a verb, and "much" is grammatical before past participles (e.g. Manet's much admired paintings).

And "much" is grammatical before adjectives for comparisons. For example: "My car is much bigger than yours."

There's no profound reason underlying why we use the word "much" like this. It's just how its usage has evolved, and how we most commonly use it now.

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