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Dear Friends,

I have couple of questions (which has been nagging me for a long time) about 'As much...As' comparative clause.

What all (noun (uncountable/countable), adjectives (gradable/non-gradable), infinitive, gerund) we can use in 'As much....as' clause?

'As much <noun (uncountable/countable)> as'

'As much adjectives (gradable/non-gradable)> as'

'As much <infinitive> as'

'As much <gerund> as'

Could you please explain me.

My second query is:

I know that "much" can be used before uncounatble nouns. But I came accross a famous quotation of Mahatma Gandhi.

"Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good"

In the above mentioned sentence, duty is used as a countable noun with as much. Could you plesae explain this?

Best Regards,
Sabya
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What you're asking would take several chapters of a book to explain, so let me give you the short version.

With a noun, much is used as a adjective. as much means the same amount of.

Joe has as much money as Jane has.
______

With an implied noun, much becomes a pronoun.

-- How much money does Joe have?
-- He has as much as Jane has.
(as much money - money is implied.)
-- He has as much as Jane.
______

With a verb, much is used as an adverb. as much means to the same degree.

Joe likes honey as much as Jane likes it.
Joe likes honey as much as Jane does.
Joe likes honey as much as Jane.

______

much is not used with an adjective. as much becomes simply as with an adjective.

*Joe is as much happy as Jane.
Joe is as happy as Jane.
______

In the sentence you asked about, as much is adverbial, so it means to the same degree, as explained above.

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good. =
Non-cooperation with evil is a duty to the same degree as cooperation with good is a duty. =
Non-cooperation with evil and cooperation with good are duties to the same degree.

CJ
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Thanks Calif Jim,

What I understood is that 'As much' is used as an adverbial to comapre the degree of the noun 'duty'. Do we need to use singlar noun to denote the comparison of degree?

For example.

To ensure sustainable economic growth is as much a responsibility (of the goverment) as is to ensure a low inflation rate = Responsibilities to ensure sustainable economic growth and to ensure a low inflation rate are to the same degree (please let me know whether the above sentences are correct?).

In the second example.

In a democratic society, voting as much a resoponsibility as is a right or

Life is as much a responsibility as is a gift.

In these structures what role the 'As much' clause is playing? (I don't think it's playing role of an advebial).

Could you please explain this?

I have one more example of 'As much...as' clause.

There lies as much sublime beauty in the english grammar as does in mathematics.

Could you please let me know whether the above structure is correct?

Best Regards,

Sabya
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What I understood is that 'As much' is used as an adverbial to comapre the degree of the noun 'duty'. to compare the degree of being a duty, yes. There is no "degree of the noun duty". Do we need to use singlar noun to denote the comparison of degree? No. These are as much duties as those.

For example.

To ensure sustainable economic growth is as much a responsibility (of the goverment) as is to ensure a low inflation rate = Responsibilities to ensure sustainable economic growth and to ensure a low inflation rate are responsibilities to the same degree (please let me know whether the above sentences are correct?). They are mostly correct. But the infinitive is not normally used after an ... as much ... as is structure. Better:

Ensuring sustainable economic growth is as much a responsibility of the government as (is) ensuring a low inflation rate.
It is as much a responsibility of the government to ensure sustainable economic growth as it is to ensure a low inflation rate.


In the second example.
In a democratic society, voting as much a resoponsibility as it is a right or

Life is as much a responsibility as it is a gift.

In these two, as well as in the previous one, I think you've failed to understand something.


If you say Life is as much a responsibility as is a gift, you're saying Life is as much a responsibility as a gift is a responsibility. (Life = responsibility and Gift = responsibility -- to the same degree.)
If you say Life is as much a responsibility as it is a gift, you're saying Life is as much a responsibility as life is a gift. (Life = responsibility and Life = gift -- to the same degree.)


Be careful about what the subject is!!!
P is as much a Z as Q is. = P is a Z; Q is a Z. -- both to the same degree.
P is as much a Z as is Q. (inversion - typical in comparisons) = P is a Z; Q is a Z. -- both to the same degree. (Same as previous example in meaning.)
P is as much a Z as it is a Q. = P is a Z; P is a Q. -- both to the same degree. (it refers to P.)


In these structures what role the 'As much' clause is playing? (I don't think it's playing role of an advebial). It's a comparative structure, but with an adverbial meaning. Any time you are speaking of the degree to which a statement is certain or like another statement, that is, asking how much?, you're using an adverb of degree.

There lies as much sublime beauty in the E e nglish grammar as there does in mathematics.

Or simpler:
There lies as much sublime beauty in English grammar as in mathematics.


>>

CJ
What an excellent and lucid explanation !!

Thanks you very much Calif Jim.

Best Regards,

Sabya
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Recently, I came across this usage while preparing for GMAT:

There are hopeful signs that we are shifting away from our heavy reliance on fosil fuels; more than ten times as much energy is generated now as it was in 1990.

Can you please explain why "it as in 1990" at the end of the sentence is not correct?

Thanks,

-Anil