“muy” vs. “mucho” in Spanish

muy vs mucho in Spanish - Learn and Practice

Welcome to our grammar lesson on how to choose between muy and mucho in Spanish.

Two Spanish sentences with "muy" and "mucho"
Two sentences with “muy” and “mucho”

In this lesson, we will learn the differences between muy and mucho, and the types of sentences where we use each word. We will provide many examples so that it is clear.

At the end you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.

muy

muy means “very”.

We can only place muy before an adjective or an adverb (such as “grande, fuerte, rápido”…).

muy never changes its form. It is always muy:

Tu amigo es muy amable.
Your friend is very nice.

Tus amigos son muy simpáticos.
Your friends are very friendly.

Tengo un ordenador muy viejo.
I have a very old computer.

Ellos están muy cansados.
They are very tired.

Laura canta muy bien.
Laura sings very well.

Patricia conduce muy rápido.
Patricia drives very fast.


muy always needs an adjective or an adverb right after it.

Otherwise, it becomes mucho:

¿Estás muy contenta?
Are you very happy?

Sí, mucho.
Yes, very.

mucho

mucho (and its feminine and plural variations) can mean “much, many, a lot, a lot of”.

When mucho is connected to a noun, it needs to match the noun’s gender and number.

This results in 4 possible forms:

  • mucho (masculine singular)
  • mucha (feminine singular)
  • muchos (masculine plural)
  • muchas (feminine plural)


Examples:

¿Tienes muchos amigos en Madrid?
Do you have many friends in Madrid?

Sí, muchos.
Yes, many. (although the noun is not mentioned, we still mean amigos)

Paco gana mucho dinero.
Paco earns a lot of money. 

Muchas personas quieren trabajar.
Many people want to work.

Conozco muchas.
I know many. (“muchas” refers to a feminine plural noun, even though we don’t mention it here. For example, we could mean ciudades, cities)

María tiene mucha paciencia contigo… ¡mucha!
María has a lot of patience with you… a lot!


But when mucho is not referring to a noun, then it is always mucho, without variation:

¿Corres mucho?
Do you run a lot?

Sí, mucho.
Yes, a lot.

Los niños pequeños duermen mucho.
Small children sleep a lot.

Me gusta mucho jugar a las cartas.
I like playing cards a lot. (be careful: “mucho” is connected with “jugar”, not with “cartas”. We don’t mean “a lot of cards”)

Me gustan mucho las flores.
I like flowers a lot. (careful again: “mucho” is connected with “gustar”, not with “flores”. We don’t mean “a lot of flowers”)

Practice

Quiz

Take this Quiz to test your knowledge about “muy” vs “mucho”:


Exercise

Now we are going to practice with sentences.

Fill the gaps choosing between “muy – mucho – mucha – muchos – muchas”:

1) Mi familia tiene ___ coches.
My family has many cars.

2) Los libros son ___ interesantes.
The books are very interesting.

3) Nuestros amigos están ___ contentos.
Our friends are very happy.

4) Me interesa ___ la política americana.
American politics interests me a lot.

5) Tú has visitado ___ ciudades.
You have visited many towns.

6) Nos gustan ___ las sillas.
We like the chairs a lot.

7) Esta máquina es ___ eficiente.
This machine is very efficient.

8) Ella trabaja ___.
She works a lot.

DIÁLOGO:
9) ¿Estás ___ tranquilo?
Are you very relaxed?
10) Sí, ___.
Yes, very.

Solutions:
1) muchos
2) muy
3) muy
4) mucho
5) muchas
6) mucho (be careful: “mucho” is connected with “gustar”, not with “sillas”. We don’t mean “a lot of chairs”)
7) muy
8) mucho
9) muy
10) mucho

And what about “muchísimo”?

muchísimo is the superlative of “mucho”.

And just like “mucho”, it also has variations depending on gender and number:

 Superlative
muchomuchísimo
muchamuchísima
muchosmuchísimos
muchasmuchísimas


Every single time in this lesson where we use “mucho” or any of its variations, we could use the superlative instead for more emphasis.

Examples:

Paco gana mucho dinero.
Paco earns a lot of money.
Paco gana muchísimo dinero.
Paco earns a whole lot of money. 

Muchas personas quieren trabajar.
Many people want to work.
Muchísimas personas quieren trabajar.
Very many people want to work.

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