Which one is correct? Maybe both?

“Mary likes cheese very much."


“Mary very much likes cheese.”

According to this website the second sentence is wrong: http://www.antimoon.com/how/input-howmuch.htm

It seems to me strange because I've read in Practical English Usage by Michael Swam that the sentences like the second one is correct. And I'm a bit confused. That's why I'm asking the natives.


3 Answers 3


Both are grammatically correct.

Your question is not about grammar it is about usage. In this case, placing the adverbial at then end is favoured. Most native speakers would say "Mary likes cheese very much."

But both are possible. Both could be produced by a native speaker. For example, from facebook "Howard Otley very much likes Frankie and the Heartstrings ...".

The page that you link to notes that native speakers make thousands of little choices like this. The knowledge that "very much" usually comes after "likes" is one example of a little fact that native speakers have. He says that "Mary very much likes cheese" is incorrect, and implies that it is ungrammatical. In this respect the author is wrong. He is mistaking a common preference for a grammatical rule.


Native NAmE speaker here.

Both sample sentences are grammatically correct, although formal. Sentence number one "Mary likes cheese very much" sounds better to my ear. The second sentence "Mary very much likes cheese" makes sense to me, but I would immediately know that the person stating it is not a native NAmE speaker.

Truth be told, what you are most likely to hear in conversation is "Mary likes cheese a lot" or maybe "Mary really likes cheese".

  • 1
    I strongly disagree with immediately knowing that person is not a native speaker. The first thing that came to my mind was an emphatic rebuttal. So something like: A: Mary doesn't like cheese very much. B: Mary very much likes cheese. You're thinking of Sally. Now, I'm not saying this is common, but it's certainly something a native speaker could say.
    – Em.
    Jul 24, 2016 at 5:02
  • I never said a native speaker couldn't say it. Perhaps I should clarify my statement to say that my immediate assumption would be that the person is probably not a native NAmE speaker. There is really no way to know for certain, right? Some native speakers are very pedantic, simply by virtue of personality.
    – Kaye
    Jul 24, 2016 at 14:33

The first sentence is a statement, while the second sentence is a response.

The second sentence is speaking affirmatively

George likes cars very much.

The sentence is perfect on its own. We have a subject, verb, and an object. It is a clear sentence.

George very much likes cars.

By itself, it is grammatically correct and all, but you sound like you're speaking backwards if you say it out of context.

What is the right context, you say?

Consider the following:

Mother: I'm thinking of getting George a car for his birthday, do you think he'd like it?

Father: George very much likes cars.

It's nearly the same as saying

George indeed like cars

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