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Which among the two sentences is correct?

1) How much is it important?

2) How important is it?

Context: my friend told me that something is very important to him. I need to ask him again how (much?) important it is.

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    Second one should be How important is it?
    – Schwale
    Dec 5, 2015 at 18:17
  • You might hear "How very important is it?" if you want to bump the importance up a bit.
    – user3169
    Dec 5, 2015 at 21:04

1 Answer 1

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The normal way is How important is it?

A good rule is: If you are asking about a quality, say How. (Another way to think of it is, if you could answer with very, use how.)

How tall are you? (very tall)
How angry is he? (very angry)
How far is the city? (very far)

If you are asking about an amount of a mass noun, say How much.

How much wool do we have? (five pounds of wool)
How much food does it eat? (three cans of food every day)
How much trouble has it caused? (a great amount of trouble)

If you are asking about the number of a countable thing, say How many.

How many flowers did you use? (ten thousand)
How many feet tall is he? (six)
How many problems has it caused? (only one)

Because important is a quality, the correct way to say it is How important is it?

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  • Now I am going to add a comment to my own answer to say that you will sometimes hear people speaking very informally say things like, "It's important? Exactly how much is it important?"
    – stangdon
    Dec 5, 2015 at 19:28

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