''as much as''/''so much as'' Please, have a look at the sentences below: ''Mom as much as told Jane she couldn't go.'' ''The clerk so much as accused the customer of shoplifting.'' What is the meaning of ''as much as'' (or ''so much as'') in the examples concerned? Am I right to think that it could mean the same as ''even'' or ''almost''? Thank you in advance.
Aug 29, 2018 9:27 PM
Answers · 8
You have been given the correct answer by the first person Ryan. I can't improve upon how he has explained it. I can only give an example. [ A man goes into a book store and looks at some books near to the counter. Where there is a clerk working. The clerk leaves the room for a few seconds then returns. He says to the man "have you seen a red book it was here when I left". the man says "no i have not". The clerk says "strange it was here. Has anyone else been here besides you since I left". The man says "no". the clerk says "strange, then where did the book go to". THE clerk has so much as accused the man of stealing the book.
August 29, 2018
Here it means the Mum didn't actually tell Jane she couldn't go explicitly, but through everything else that she said it was as good as saying she couldn't. It is the same for the clerk, he didn't directly accuse the customer of shoplifting, but through whatever he did or said he effectively did.
August 29, 2018
Hi, Luiz. I think that both ''as much as'' / ''so much as'' are used to intensify the meaning of the verb and indicate that the action is unexpected. As much as /so much as might mean "in effect'' Hope that'll help
August 29, 2018
Luiz, I can't understand why neither mine nor your explanation works here. To the best of my knowledge, 'as much as/so much as' mean: "almost", just as you wrote, "practically', '' really", 'in effect'' as I suggested and even "in fact", mind you, the idea it refers to is rather just implied(by the speaker's behaviour, register, intonation) than expressed directly, which, as I see it, does not affect the meaning. So you can easily rephrase your sentences as: Mom really told Jane.../In fact, the clerk accused the customer (even though he never did it directly). Have a look at some more examples: By running away he as much as admitted that he had taken the money.=almost admitted You as much as promised you would help us.=in fact/in effect/really, you promised Your friends as much as told me that I was a fool.=possibly by their behaviour (arguing, butting in etc) Don't you agree with me? And thank you for the question.
August 30, 2018
August 29, 2018
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