Adverbs often confused
455. Very and Too
Don’t say: It’s too hot in Rome in the summer.
√ Say: It’s very hot in Rome in the summer.
Don’t say: It’s now very hot to play football.
√ Say: It’s now too hot to play football.
Very simply makes the adjective or adverbs stronger.
Too means more than enough, or so much that something else happens as a result.
456. Very and Much
Don’t say: He’s a much strong man.
It’s a much interesting book.
√ Say: He’s a very strong man.
It’s a very interesting book.
Don’t say: He’s very stronger than I am.
√ Say: He’s much stronger than I am.
Use very with adjectives and adverbs in the positive, and with present participles used as adjectives like interesting. Use much with comparative.
457. Too much for Very much
Don’t say: She likes the cinema too much.
He’s too much stronger than I am.
√ Say: She likes the cinema very much.
He’s very much stronger than I am.
Use very much instead of much for greater emphasis
Too much denotes an excessive quantity or degree –> She ate too much, and felt ill.
458. Before for Ago
Don’t say: I saw your friend before two weeks.
√ Say: I saw your friend two weeks ago.
We use ago in counting from the time of speaking to a point in the past: half an hour ago, three days ago, four months ago, five years ago, a long time ago. We use before in counting from a distant to a nearer point in the past –> Napoleon died in 1821, he had lost the battle of Waterloo six years before.
Note: When we use ago the verb is always in the simple past tense –> He came five minutes ago.
459. Hardly for Hard
Don’t say: She rubbed her eyes hardly.
√ Say: She rubbed her eyes hard.
Hard means severely.
Hardly means not quite or scarcely. –> The baby can hardly walk.
460. No so for Not very
Don’t say: I hear that he’s not so rich.
√ Say: I hear that he’s not very rich.
We can’t use not so in the sense of not very. The expression “He’s not so rich.” implies a comparison “He’s not so rich as you are.”
461. Just now for Presently, etc.
Don’t say: The messenger will arrive just now.
√ Say: The messenger will arrive presently.
If we are speaking of a near and immediate future time, we must use presently, immediately, in a minute, or soon.
Just now refers to present or past time, and net lo future time –> He’s not at home just now (= at this moment). He left just now (= a little time ago)
462. Presently for At present
Don’t say: His uncle is in London presently.
✓ Say: His uncle is in London at present.
At present and presently are not synonymous.
At present means now but presently means soon –> She will come back presently (= soon).
463. Scarcely for Rarely
Don’t say: Zoe scarcely comes to see me now.
✓ Say: Zoe rarely comes to see me now.
Scarcely isn’t synonymous with rarely.
Rarely means not often, scarcely means not quite –> I had scarcely finished when he came.
464. Lately for Late
Don’t say: Last night I went to bed lately.
✓ Say. Last night I went to bed late.
The opposite of early is late, not lately.
Lately means in recent time –> I haven’t been there lately.