use of "inasmuch as"


I made two sentences with the conjunction “inasmuch as”. Could you tell me if they sound natural ?

Thank you very much !

Yes, that’s the idea, LS. #1 is a little strained, because that is the quotidian activity of a police officer, but as an example it’s OK.

I’d reserve “inasmuch” for the academic or literary registers. Therefore, in your “police” example, I think “inasmuch” is not suitable.

What do you make of this usage, Molly?

  • “The strip search seemed fairly pointless, inasmuch as they didn’t go through my pockets.”


An attempt at the literary? A need to mark the comment in some way? Happens to all of at some time.

What do you make of these, Amy?

  1. (Wife to Husband)
  • Hello, how are you today?
  • I’m fine. Would you mind passing me the bread?
  • Certainly. Would you like some butter with your bread?
  • Yes, please. Thank you very much.
  1. (Wife to Husband)
  • Hi honey, how was your day?
  • Great. We got a lot done. And yours?
  • Fine, but stressful. Pass me that magazine, please.
  • Here you go.

They are both slightly creaky attempts at domestic dialogue, taken from a slightly creaky webpage about “register”.

This one intrigued me (from the same page):

Surely the next line involves some particularly querulous complaint.


I wouldn’t. I think I hear it more often than I see it.


Creaky they may be, but the idea’s there. The idea is that Amy, as with you, can’t state what she feels about register and use.

What’s YOUR take on the THREAD question? And, I said “I’d do…” and you said “I wouldn’t”. That great, isn’t it? Two opinions, but what’s Amy’s?

I think MM has covered it.

“Inasmuch as” has two meanings:

  1. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of one of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

= “to the extent that”.

  1. If the shot should preserve continuously its initial velocity of 12,000 yards per second, it would require little more than nine hours to reach its destination; but, inasmuch as that initial velocity will be continually decreasing, it will occupy 300,000 seconds, that is 83hrs. 20m. in reaching the point where the attraction of the earth and moon will be in equilibrio.

= “because of the fact that” (as in Alex’s #1).

Sometimes the phrase is ambiguous, as in Alex’s #2.



As Mr Punch said:

Well done that man for not regurgitating!


At the risk of being accused of “regurgitation”, I’d like to sum things up here:

  • MM felt that Alex basically had the right idea about the use of ‘inasmuch as’.
  • Molly feels ‘inasmuch as’ must be reserved for academic or literary use.
  • Yankee and MrP disagreed with Molly
  • Molly posted some examples of fake conversations, which were apparently copied from one of two possible sources on the Internet, and which did not include any usage of ‘inasmuch as’.
  • MrP was willing to risk responding to Molly, saying he found Molly’s conversations to be creaky.
  • Molly drew incorrect conclusions.
  • MrP brought the thread back to the original topic and expanded on ‘inasmuch as’
  • Alan apparently quoted a puppet, but seemed pleased with MrP’s previous post.

Hi, Amy

An excellent summary of what has happend ! Couldn’t agree more. :slight_smile:
Though I’m slightly puzzled as to why anyone should accuse you of this medical term (regurgitation, that is) :?

Hi Alex,

I think Alan was referring to Punch (a male puppet) who/which is a version of Pulcinella. This is a grotesque character staged in an Italian ‘artistic comedy’ that was performed by comic actors on occasional labour in the 15 hundreds. “A puppet who performs in public spaces. Most of his audience is never likely to set foot in a theatre. His success lies in taking his particular theatre out to the public and here he meets politics on a daily basis.” In Germany, the little fella is called Kasper.

Back on topic: “The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology” describes ‘inasmuch’ as [color=indigo]in so far as, (hence) seeing that, considering that. so much (n. of tantus so great) .

I’d like to add that – my feeling tells me this – the expression has a slight air of scientific wannabe-ism and is usually more rather used in demotic context.

By the way, Alex, the source of the example I posted was the BNC, and it sounds neither particularly literary nor academic to me. However, you will also find ‘inasmuch as’ used in those registers. What I wouldn’t expect to hear, for example, is an average 8-year-old using ‘inasmuch as’.