English Lesson: “Too Much” vs “So Much”

Time for another round of “This is why you don’t sound like a native speaker.” This tip comes courtesy of my friend Jameson.

Do you know the difference between “too much” and “so much”? Often, I’ll hear people say something along the lines of “I like this too much”.

Unless they’re joking around, those people actually want to be using “so much”.

“So much” is the phrase we want to use to indicate “a lot”. For instance, I drink a lot of water everyday. We can then turn it into: I drink so much water everyday.

Here’s some more examples:

  • Jack spent so much money at the casino. = Jack spent a lot of money at the casino.
  • Lisa doesn’t talk to me so much. = Lisa doesn’t talk to me a lot.

“Too much” means an “excessive amount”. It’s probably easier to think of it like “too, too much”. Let’s say I drank way too much alcohol. That means I drank an excessive amount– far beyond my limit.

If I’m your server and I’m pouring your water, I should stop before the water overflows, right? If I’m not paying attention and the water spills over, then I’ve poured too much.

Of the two phrases, “too much” is going to be the better one to implement. For the times you want to use “so much”, saying “a lot” or “a bunch” will sound more natural.

If you’re interested in learning more conversational English like this, connect with Jon to sign up for online private English coaching or face-to-face sessions in Boston. We’ll work on making you sound like a native speaker.

Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

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