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Dr Grammar

way too much

Posted by peter   15 Nov 2013 1 59 am

Hi Alex,

Would you please advise to these two questions about the phrase "way too much":

1.) is the phrase "way too much" more common in spoken than in written English?
(i have searched this word from the BNC website, but it doesn't show the register of formality)

2.) are they interchangeable in most cases?
"way too much"
"far too much"
"too much"
e.g. I've too much work to do today!
e.g. I've way too much work to do today!

Many thanks,

Posted by alex stringer   18 Nov 2013 2 48 pm

Hi Peter

Yes, 'way to much' would normally be spoken and is less formal.

Both 'far' and 'way' too much are stronger than 'too much'. They emphasize a greater difference between what is necessary or appropriate and what exists.

Someone is pouring you a drink - whiskey and soda.
You want them to put a little whiskey in the bottom of the glass - around 10%. But they put around 20% whiskey in the glass.That's too much.
Imagine they fill nearly half the glass with whiskey. That's way too much!

You're shopping in a street market for shirts:

You: How much are these shirts?
Trader: $250 each.
You: $250! Come on - that's way too much. How about $100? I'll take two if you can give me a good price.
Trader: You can have two for $400.
You. That's still too much.


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