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‘Too many’ vs. ‘Too much’

‘Too many’ and ‘too much’ are used to say when there is more than a good amount. The amount is now a problem.

1. The difference between ‘too many’ and ‘too much’

‘Too many’ is used for countable nouns. This means things you can count.
Things you can count include apples, sandwiches, cars, and people.

‘Too much’ is used for uncountable nouns. This means things you can’t count.
Things you cannot count include water, air, anger, and time.

CountingCannot count
1 apple, 2 apples, 3 apples, 100 applesSome air
1 person, 2 people, 3 people, 100 peopleSome time

2. Examples

Countable nounsUncountable nouns
This city has too many people.This city has too much pollution.
You have invited too many people.You have bought too much food.
This city has too many cars.This city has too much traffic.
You smoke too many cigarettes.You smoke too much.

3. ‘Too’ is a problem.

In some languages, such as Chinese, ‘too’ = ‘very’. It can be a good thing (for example, ‘too good’ in Chinese is ‘very good’.

In English ‘too’ means it is a problem.

ProblemSolution
You are too nice.You should be less nice.
The house is too big.It should be smaller.

4. Exercises

Describe the problems/bad things about:
(i) the city in which you live
(ii) yourself
(iii) the past

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