Quick question. Is it necessary to include "go" or "come" here for this to work or is it natural without?

If you as much as (go/come) near the building we're going to kill the hostages.

  • Okay. How about: "If you near the building we're going to..."?
    – user118784
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 19:53
  • 1
    Unusual and unnatural. Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 20:09
  • 1
    The word near can be used as a verb (to near the end). So it's grammatically correct to talk about (to) near the building but it's most unlikely in context. If I came across it in a text, I would wonder what the author was try to tell me about the character. People don't say Don't near me. They say: Don't come near me. Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 22:02
  • to near something is not to come/go near something
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 19:23
  • I suppose "to near" something is an English verb, but it's not used often in such a context. It wouldn't be strictly wrong to use it the way you use it (it tends to be used in the context of travel, and particularly nautical or aerial travel). "We're nearing the [air]port, Captain!" The example given above (as something to avoid), "Don't near me" suggests that the listener shouldn't navigate their vessel or aircraft towards the speaker. Even as a metaphor it sounds a bit unnatural. The main point is that "if you so much as ...", when used as a threat or a warning, needs a verb.
    – Jaime
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


We usually use so much as rather than as much as in such contexts...

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...but there's nothing actually wrong with the version as cited by OP - it's just the less common stylistic choice.

Essentially, so/as much as is an optional intensifier in such contexts. A common alternative is If you dare move I'll kill you. Or we can add even before the forbidden act and put heavy stress on the verb: If you even move I'll kill you.

As ever, the choice between come near and go near simply depends on whether the speaker is currently at the location. It's very uncommon for that rule to be broken by native speakers, but here, here, and here are some earlier ELL questions about it.


You must have one of “come” or “go near” to be correct.

It is an action that will cause the hostage to be killed. The coming or going.

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