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Can one say

a. You kicked the ball too much.

instead of

b. You kicked the ball too many times.

?

===========================

c. You pushed the button too much.

Would that mean

  1. You pushed it too hard.

  2. You pushed it too far.

or

  1. You pushed it too many times.

?

Many thanks

2 Answers 2

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"You pushed the button too much," might be used for too many times. In that sense, I'd prefer "too often," or "too frequently." It likely would not be used for "too far," or "too hard."

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"Too much" can be an ambiguous adverb that implies excessive, so more context is needed to distinguish its meaning.

a. You kicked the ball too much.
c. You pushed the button too much.

This can either mean too strong, or too many times, depending on the topic of the conversation. If you add more sentences, the context will become clearer.

E.g.

  1. You kicked the ball too much; it went way over the fence.
  2. You kicked the ball too much; now it's worn out.
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    "Too much" can refer to degree or frequency, but you have to judge it based on what is likely in context. "You hurt me too much" certainly can often mean "to too great a degree" rather than "too many times". But with the ball "too hard" is by far the most likely way of expressing that the degree was the problem, and "too much" almost certainly means the frequency not the strength.
    – Stuart F
    Jul 12, 2023 at 14:36

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