The use of "much as"


I have often seen the use of much as in the middle of a sentence–but I never understand it. Could you please shed some light on it?

Many thanks,


Hi Tom,

This construction gives the idea of ‘although I would like to … I’m afraid it’s not possible…’ It often acts as an excuse and also as an apology. Take this:

You want to leave somewhere and it is difficult to get away so you can say something like:

It has been a very interesting discussion and much as I’d like to stay longer, I really must make my way home now.


Hi Tom,

Follow some examples using the MUCH AS forms, I just studyed this topic last week

You shouldn’t use As MUCH AS with words in plural like this:

  • Tom drinks AS MUCH coffe AS his wife.
  • Ed spends AS MUCH AS time with his family AS he can

I’m not sure if I help you with this examples, but I learned a lot as much my colleague as learned in class…


  1. Much as I would like to be able to explain this structure, I find it rather strange.

I would take “as” here as a conjunctive adverb; it introduces a clause that expresses the degree of something. Its sense is concessive, i.e.

  1. Much though I would like to be able to explain this structure, I find it rather strange.

or in its uninverted form:

  1. Though I would much like to be able to explain this structure, I find it rather strange.

Best wishes,


It’s a synonym of the conjunction although Tom. Do you know how to use that conjunction?


I would like to know, how to use Although…

I have observed, when someone use Although, is because wants to introduce a new subject… I’m right ?


Read about it here:

Subordinating Conjunctions

To clarify: the phrase “much as” is not a synonym of “although”; though “as” has a similar sense to “though” in the original example.

The structure is:

  1. [adjective]/[adverb] as [verb phrase], XYZ.

The first clause is concessive; XYZ presents the mitigation.


  1. Bad as his analysis may have been, it nonetheless engendered an interesting debate. [“bad” = adj.]

  2. Much as I deplore his lack of personal hygiene, he works hard and is a valued member of the Linguistics Dept. [“much” = adverb]

Best wishes,


I see “(for) much as” as a synonym, and as a unit.

“S: (n) synonym, equivalent word (two words that can be interchanged in a context are said to be synonymous relative to that context)”

I’d extend “words” to “expressions/lexical items”.

You miss the point. My earlier examples #2 and #3 both contain the sense “though”; but only #3 contains “much”. The sense “though” therefore resides in “as”.

The preceding adjective/adverb merely qualifies the concession.


For whom?

For the editors of the OED.

  1. Bad as his analysis may be,…
  2. Good as his analysis may be,…
  3. Little as I like…
  4. Much as I like…

If “much” + “as” = “although”, what do #1, #2, and #3 equal?


Why would they need to equal anything?

  1. Little as I like his style, his politics are sound.
  2. Much as I like his politics, his style is rather harsh.

If “much as” is a “synonym” of “although”, in #4, what is “little as” a synonym of, in #3?


Hi ! everybody.

tks,… for the explanations about the use of Although and Much as


Why would it need to equal anything?

Indeed. That was rather my point, when I queried:

“Much/little” have one function in the examples, and “as” another.

We are therefore once again in accord.


The Cambridge Dictionary, for example, also notes that one of the meanings of “as” is “although”.

“Much/little” have one function in the examples, and “as” another.

See, that’s where we differ. You focus on syntatic form and I focus on meaning and lexicalised function, on lexis. With “Get the f*ck away from me!”, each word has separate function, but the expression is synoymous with “Leave me alone!”, in most contexts. To me, there is no value for ESL students in looking at the function of each word in such expressions , they should instead look at the function of the unit. The expression “much as” is now a lexical item, IMO, and is synoymous with “although” in many people’s minds.

Just different ways of looking at the same thing. Hope you can deal with that, MrP.

Correct as you are, what’s it got to do with the discussion above?