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anonymous asked:

Is there a big difference in usage between tan/tanto/mucho/demasiado?

There is / there can be.

The overarching difference between many of these words is whether it’s intended to be used as an adverb, or as an adjective.

tan (adjective) como means “as” and is used in comparisons. In a comparison, the tan won’t change.

The adjective in question applies to the subject, not the object.. unless the object and subject are the same person; in which case, it doesn’t matter.

Ana es tan lista como Marco. - Ana is as smart as Marco.

Marco es tan listo como Ana. - Marco is as smart as Ana.

Ana es tan lista como atlética. - Ana is as smart as she is atheltic.

Marco no es tan listo como piensa. - Marco is not as smart as he thinks.

El hombre lo hizo como si fuera tan fácil. - The man did it as if it were so easy.

tanto means “as much” and can be used in comparisons with nouns / amounts, corresponding to the object’s gender.

No tengo tantos libros como tú. - I don’t have as many books as you (do).

Ana tiene tanto dinero como Marco. - Ana has as much money as Marco (does).

Nueva Orleans ha recibido tanta lluvia como Orlando. - New Orleans got as much rain as Orlando.

Boston ha recibido tanta nieve como Filadelfia. - Boston got as much snow as Philadelphia.

Or it can mean “so much + noun” and therefore has to conform to gender agreement rules

Hay tanta gente. - There are so many people.

Hay tanta agua. - There’s so much water.

Hay tantos caminos. - There are so many roads.

Tiene tanto amor. - He/She has a lot of love.

Hace tanto tiempo… - For far too long…

Nunca han recibido tanta lluvia. - They’ve never gotten so much rain.

Tengo dos hermanos y tantas hermanas. - I have two brothers and as many sisters.

Or it can be used in an adverbial phrase tanto meaning “too much”… or as tanto como to mean “as much as” which doesn’t change according to gender.

No quiero estudiar tanto. - I don’t want to study so much. / I don’t want to study so often.

No tanto tanto. - Not TOO too much.

Tanto él como ella. - Him as much as her.

Tanto ella como yo. - Her as much as me.

Me gusta la literatura española tanto como la (literatura) inglesa. - I like Spanish literature as much as I do English literature.

Me gusta la historia tanto como la filosofía. - I like history just as much as I do philosophy.

With mucho it’s usually an adjective meaning “many” or “a lot of”. When it corresponds to a noun, it has to change its gender.

Tengo muchos amigos. - I have a lot of friends.

Tengo muchas amigas. - I have a lot of (female) friends.

Hay mucha gente aquí. - There are a lot of people here.

No tengo mucho tiempo. - I don’t have a lot of time.

La biblioteca tiene muchos libros. - The library has a lot of books.

El museo tiene muchas pinturas. - The museum has a lot of paintings.

But it can be an adverb meaning “a lot” or “so much” or “so often” and therefore will not change from mucho.

Te quiero mucho. - I love you so much.

Lo siento mucho. - I’m very sorry.

Lo sentimos mucho. - We’re very sorry.

Siento mucho tu pérdida. - I’m very sorry for your loss.

Me gusta cocinar, pero no cocino mucho. - I like to cook, but I don’t cook very often.

Tengo muchos libros, pero no leo mucho. - I have a lot of books, but I don’t read very often.

Sort of similar with demasiado, as an adjective it means “too many” [lit. demasiado is made up of de + más + -iado …meaning “of + more + ness”; or “excessiveness”]. Therefore when it corresponds to a noun, it changes its gender accordingly.

Tengo demasiados libros. - I have too many books.

¿No tienes demasiadas flores? - Don’t you have too many flowers?

Hay demasiada gente. - There are too many people.

Tardó demasiado tiempo. - It took too long.

And when it means “too” or “excessively”, as well as “too much” or “too often” it doesn’t have to change because it’s now an adverb.

El carro/coche/auto es demasiado caro. - The car is too expensive.

La casa es demasiado cara. - The house is too expensive.

Estudias demasiado. - You study too much.

Es demasiado débil. - He/She/It is too weak.

Es un tema demasiado serio para los niños. - It’s too serious a subject for children.

No es demasiado diferente. - It’s not that different.

But some you could use interchangeably in the sense that it wouldn’t make the sentence wrong… it would just change the meaning… slightly or majorly.

Hay mucha gente. - There are a lot of people.

Hay tanta gente. - There are so many people.

Hay demasiada gente. - There are too many people.

Estudias mucho. - You study a lot.

Estudias tanto. - You study so much.

Estudias demasiado. - You study too much.

No es tan difícil. - It’s not so hard.

No es TAN difícil. - It’s not THAT hard

No es demasiado difícil. - It’s not too hard.

No es muy difícil. - It’s not very hard.

Tengo tanto que hacer. - I have so much to do.

Tengo tantas cosas que hacer. - I have so many things to do.

Tengo mucho que hacer. - I have so much to do.

Tengo muchas cosas que hacer. - I have a lot of things to do.

Tengo demasiado que hacer. - I have too much to do.

Tengo demasiadas cosas que hacer. - I have too many things to do.