Too Much / Too Many / So Much / So Many (Much/Many, Part 2) - Podcast Episode 17

Audio Transcript:

Welcome to episode 17 of The English Sessions. Too much / so much / too many / so many (Much/many, Part 2). I am your host and English teacher, Mike Butler. These podcasts can help you improve your English! Together, we will talk about grammar… pronunciation… structure... and have some fun too. Remember to visit my website, to contact me for private lessons, and for more content.

You can also read the transcript of this audio on the website, as you listen to this episode.

Before we begin today, I want to thank all of my listeners and students who have contributed potential names for our new puppy! We still have not decided on a new name, so go to the website, and watch the video I posted with puppy related vocabulary and more information about the puppy naming contest! Alexandra will decide the final name, and she has not made a decision yet, so send us the name that you think will be the perfect name for our new puppy.

Listen for these words today:

Back to the drawing board - “ _ “ is an expression that means a plan or idea was unsuccessful, and another one now needs to be made, or thought of. For example, my boss hated all of my ideas! Well, I guess it’s “back to the drawing board” for me.

Excessive - “ _ “ means “more than is necessary, normal, or desirable”. It’s not a good thing. “The man drank excessive amounts of alcohol, and acted like a fool”.

Key - “Key” has more than one meaning. Today, ‘key’ describes something that is the most important part of something bigger. Example, “the knife became the key evidence in the murder case”.

Sometimes my learners think that ‘too much’ and ‘so much’, or ‘too many’ and ‘so many’ have the same meaning. I am here to tell you that they do not have the same meaning, most of the time. I will tell you this: “so many/ so much” is typically a good thing, and “too many / too much” is often a bad thing. But, it’s not that simple, so let’s talk about it a bit more. Today we will talk about too much/ so much/ too many/ so many. For the differences between ‘much’ and ‘many’, listen to episode 13 of The English Sessions ( )

Let’s start with ‘so much’, ‘so many’. Remember, ‘so’ is a little word that has several meanings, and can mean: ‘a lot’ or ‘very’! I love that movie so much!! I love that movie very very much. I love that movie a lot. These sentences all have the same meaning. It’s a good thing. You are using ‘so’ to emphasize the fact that you really really love that movie. Now, remember, ‘many’ is used with countable nouns. So, here is an example with ‘so many’: I have so many friends who care about me. It’s a good feeling. That’s a good thing, right? You have a lot of friends who care about you.

So, I said that ‘so many’ and ‘so much’ is often a good thing. It just means you have a lot of something, but that can also be bad, right? For example, I have so much work to do! Maybe you like a lot of work, but I don’t; or, with a countable noun: I have so many responsibilities, I am overwhelmed!! Again, it just means you have a lot of responsibilities.

Now let’s talk about ‘too’. “T-O-O” too also has more than one meaning. In ‘too much’ and ‘too many’, ‘too’ means that you have MORE than what you want. It is MORE than what you desire. It is excessive. For example, “I ate too much for dinner, and now I am sick!”. That’s not good! The person ate more than his body could handle. It was excessive! Excessive is the key word here. And now, TOO MANY, I have too many weeds in my garden, and now my flowers won’t grow. That’s right, a very large amount of weeds prevented the flowers from growing. It was an excessive amount of weeds. The amount of weeds had a negative consequence on what you wanted to happen.

Okay, ‘so much’ and ‘so many’ are often a good thing, but can mean something bad. ‘Too much’ and ‘too many’ are often a bad thing, because you have MORE than what you want, or need, and often results in negative consequences.

Now, let’s talk about an informal use of ‘too’. In modern English, ‘too’ is sometimes used informally to just mean ‘very’. Here is an example, “Oh wow John! I love your new surf board! That is too cool, dude!”. You may hear ‘too’ in this way, so you must decide, based on context, if the person is using the standard definition, or the informal definition. Again, my advice as an English teacher, try to avoid informal uses like this until you feel you are on an advanced level, and are very comfortable with the proper use of words like this.

Surfing is "too cool"!

We have some great contributions so far for the puppy naming contest. Daniel in the United States suggests ‘Diogi’ (get it? D.O.G!). Renaud in France suggested ‘Eddie’ and ‘Elvis’. Cute. Patrick, another French student, suggests ‘Gobou’. That’s the leader so far. Marina in Brazil suggested adorable names like Daisey, Toby, Chica, Bolt, and Darwin. Brahim suggested ‘Pepsi’. MMMMmmm, Pepsi… Mauricio suggests ‘Onix’!! COOL! I love that name. The other Mauricio had some great suggestions too: Spock like in Star Trek, and Wallie. Here are Ania’s very clever names: Simon, cute, Almi (a combination of Alexa and Mike), Covi (because she’s a pandemic puppy!), and AZor (I like that one too!). Jacky in Switzerland suggests ‘Fluffy’. Bruno says, Doozy! That’s a doozy! Janis in the United States suggests ‘Chicky girl’. Oh, and Mauricio absolutely hates the name ’Gobou’, so I guess it’s back to the drawing board! 

Any questions? Write to me at . Leave a message for me on the website, and I will play it on the podcast. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast so you won’t miss an episode. Visit for more content. Please rate and review The English Sessions on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Find us on social media. Twitter @theEsessions; Instagram @englishsessionswithmike; Search for The English Sessions on Facebook. Until next time, this is Mike signing off.


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