Using muy and mucho in Spanish can be very confusing.
- María es muy alta OR Maria es mucho alta?
- Hace mucho calor OR Hace muy calor?
Muy is an adverb of quantity and it means "very" in English.
It is used in the following cases:
- muy + adjective
- muy + adverb
Since it modifies an adjective or an adverb, it does NOT change according to the gender and number.
1. Muy + adjective
When used before an adjective, muy increases the intensity of it.
- Fernanda es muy rica. (Fernanda is very rich.)
- Este edificio es muy alto. (This building is very tall.)
- Estas catedrales son muy bonitas. (These cathedrals are very beautiful.)
- Tus pantalones están muy sucios. (Your trousers are very dirty.)
2. Muy + adverb
Muy can intensify an adverb as well.
- Pilar habla muy bien el inglés. (Pilar speaks English very well.)
- Mauricio canta muy mal. (Mauricio sings very badly.)
- Belén habla muy despacio. (Belén speaks very slowly.)
Although mucho can stand as an adverb as well, it cannot be used after muy.
Therefore, to express "very much", you should use the superlative form of mucho (muchísimo).
- Él me gusta muchísimo. (I like him very much.)
- El discurso del presidente fue muchísimo apreciado. (The President's speech was very much appreciated.)
Some adverbs are used with mucho.
|Mucho + adverb||English translation||Example|
|mucho antes||long before||Se casaron mucho antes de que yo naciera. (They got married long before I was born.)|
|mucho después||long after||Se fueron mucho después de que yo volviera a casa. (They went away long after I came back home.)|
|mucho más||much more||Tiene mucho más dinero que antes. (He has much more money than before.)|
|mucho menos||much less||Hace mucho menos frío que ayer. (It is much less cold than yesterday.)|
Mucho can be used both as an adjective and an adverb. It means a lot, a lot of, much, many.
It is used in the following cases:
- mucho + noun
- verb + mucho
1. Mucho + noun
When mucho is used before a noun, it serves as an adjective.
In this case, it must agree in gender (masculine, feminine) and number (singular, plural).
- Hace mucho calor. (It is really hot.)
- Lucía tiene mucha paciencia. (Lucía has a lot of patience.)
- Alicia tiene muchos zapatos. (Alicia has a lot of shoes.)
- Hay muchas cucharas en este cajón. (There are a lot of spoons in this drawer.)
2. Verb + mucho
When used as an adverb, mucho comes after the verb it refers to.
Since it modifies a verb, it has no change in gender and number.
- La madre de Mariano habla mucho. (Mariano's mother speaks a lot.)
- Ivan trabaja mucho en su restaurante. (Ivan works a lot in his restaurant.)
Expressions with mucho
|Hace mucho calor.||It is really hot.|
|Hace mucho frío.||It is really cold.|
|¡Muchas gracias!||Thank you very much!|
|¡Mucho gusto!||Nice to meet you!|
|tener mucho calor||to be very hot|
|tener mucho cuidado||to be very careful|
|tener mucho frío||to be very cold|
|tener mucho miedo||to be very afraid|
|tener mucho sueño||to be very sleepy|
Comparison between muy and mucho
Unlike mucho, muy cannot stand alone: it needs to be accompanied by an adjective or an adverb.
- ¿Estas aburrido? (Are you bored?)
- Sí, muy aburrido. OR Sí, mucho. (Yes, a lot.)
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