I don't understand how to use much and more as a noun here.

Kimchi soup is a little more of a challenge.

Doing too much of anything is not good for anyone.

I'm familiar with situations where two of them is used as a modifier, but I don't know how to understand it here. Much and more is representing a part of challenge and anything? If that is the case, my opinion is that challenge and anything is too abstract that I refer to a part of them. How can I understand them?

1 Answer 1


my opinion is that 'challenge' and 'anything' are too abstract [so] that [I should not be able to] refer to a part of them

Has my interpolation correctly reflected what you were asking? Assuming it has:

Since much and more can be used nominally (as pronouns) and as adverbs, you have to discern the function the word is serving in a given phrase.

You can think of nominal much as a (large) portion of an unidentified or unspecified substance. A modifier is required to identify the nature of the substance, and this modifier is often expressed in the form of an of-phrase:

Is there much of that wine in your cellar?

Drinking too much of anything is a bad idea.

When the of-phrase refers to something that is not a substance, nominal much is being used figuratively:

Miso soup is not much of a challenge for western palates.

The noun in the of-phrase is being understood metaphorically as something having mass or dimension or size. But this usage is so second-nature that the metaphorical force is as faint as radiation from the Big Bang. The difficulty of the challenge is being expressed in faintly concrete terms.

Amount of substance <=> degree of difficulty

For most speakers, this would translate analogically, at a conscious level at least, to a statement of degree: "not very challenging".

Nominal more refers to a portion (of unknown size) of an unidentified substance, so that it, too, requires a modifier to identify the substance.

Do you have more of that wine in your cellar?
--Yes, I have a little more of it, only a few bottles.
--Yes, I have a good deal more of it, as the wine was on sale, so I bought a case of it.

Kimchi soup is more of a challenge to western palates.

The implication (from context) is that kimchi poses a greater challenge than other foods pose.


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