Common mistakes

Too and too much

Before adjectives without nouns and before adverbs we use too, not too much.

  • You are too kind to me. (NOT You are too much kind to me.)
  • He arrived too late. (NOT He arrived too much late.)

Too much is used before a noun.

  • There is too much noise. (NOT There is too noise.)
  • You have bought too much meat. (NOT You have bought too meat.)

At what time or what time

Prepositions are usually dropped before common expressions of time.

  • I am busy. Can you come another time? (More natural than ‘Can you come at another time?’)
  • What time does the train arrive? (More natural than ‘At what time does the train arrive?’
  • I won’t lose this time.

Surely and certainly

Surely does not usually mean the same as certainly. Compare:

  • You are certainly not going out in that old coat. (= I am certain that you are not going out in that old coat.)
  • Surely, you are not going out in that old coat? (= I will be surprised if you go out in that old coat.)

Such and so

Such is used before a noun with or without an adjective.

  • She is such a beautiful woman.
  • She is such a lady.

So is used before an adjective without a noun or an adverb.

  • She is so beautiful. (NOT She is such beautiful.)