I don't care too much about it.

In this sentence, 'much' is a 'pronoun' or an 'adverb'?


A situation or action is too much for you

In this sentence, 'much' is a 'pronoun' or an 'adjective'?


I don't care too much about it.

Too much answers the question "how X do I care?" "How" questions are adverbs (they qualify the sense of a verb).

A situation or action is too much for you

Much is a pronoun here. To be is a copular verb that can act as an "equal sign" for two nouns. Pronouns are able to take the place of nouns or stand in for where a noun would go but doesn't appear because the idea is indefinite.

Much is never an adjective. If you want to say there's a large amount of X, and X is a noun, use many instead.

There was much disappointment today.

There were many disappointing events today.

You're right, much can be a determiner. Most determiners that don't also act as pronouns are never on the far end of a copular verb. For possessive pronouns (really determiners), there's special words for example.

This is my box.

This box is mine (if you said this box is my the listener/speaker will think the sentence is unfinished).

But if the determiner can also be a pronoun, then it's fine to put it after to be or other copular verb.

My box is this (works because this works as a determiner and pronoun).

There is much chaos.

The chaos is much.

It's far more common to use a qualifier like too or very with much after to be or other copular verb, but a plain much isn't wrong. It will sound a little jarring and is less common than using a qualifier with much.

The chaos is too much.

It seems a bit much.

The perfume doesn't smell very much.

  • Thank you for your reply. – Mcreaper Mar 19 '20 at 20:55
  • Now, I have understood that 'much' in (1) is an adverb. As to (2), I know that the term 'determiner' is more appropriate than 'adjective'. But how about this? learnersdictionary.com/definition/much According to this dictionary, we can use the term 'adjective', and 'Much' can be an adjective. Is this wrong? And I know that a copular verb can take a noun or an adjective. Do all of these not affect the idea that in (2), 'much' is a pronoun? For caution's sake, I don't intend to refute your reply. I'm just trying to make sure. – Mcreaper Mar 19 '20 at 21:34
  • Good point. I updated my answer. – LawrenceC Mar 19 '20 at 21:39
  • I really appreciate your detailed reply. After all, you mean that in (1), 'much' is an adverb and in (2), 'much' is a noun. – Mcreaper Mar 19 '20 at 21:55

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