I've encountered sentences like He gave not her much reason to do it, and there is much reason to celebrate in this new year that use the expression much reason, but I am not sure what it means.

does it mean "very strong reason (in the sense of motive)"? Does it mean "many reasons"?

Thank you in advance for any help.

  • The first example as written is completely invalid (gave not her much has to be gave her not much). But it's not idiomatic to use negated much in such contexts anyway. We say He gave her little reason to do it. Also, there is much reason to celebrate went out with the Victorians - as that chart shows, it's There is good reason to... today. Are you seeing this in "Indian English" contexts? That's at least possible. Dec 12, 2023 at 13:41
  • Whoops! I mis-read it as He gave her not much reason because that is what I expected to see! Dec 12, 2023 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


It means a strong motive.

Reason as an uncountable noun in this sense means 'good cause to do something', as distinct from a reason, a particular cause which could be one of several. If the writers had meant the countable sense they would have used not many reasons.

  • "The cookies contain much flour and many chocolate chips." Dec 12, 2023 at 16:36

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