In today’s lesson, we are going to study MUY vs MUCHO, a subject that students of Spanish do not always find easy to understand. I hope that after this post it will easier for you. Basically, MUCHO -A/-OS/-AS indicates a large number or amount of something. MUCHO means a lot – a lot of – much – many in English, while MUY is an adverb and means “very”, look at the examples below:
MUCHO, MUCHA, MUCHOS MUCHAS + a noum
Mucho (or its variation) normally goes before a noun, it must agree both in gender (masc/fem) and number (singular/plural) with the noun:
Tengo mucho trabajo (I have a lot of work).
Tengo mucha hambre (I’m very hungry.- I have a lot of hunger).
Necesito muchos vasos para la fiesta (We need many glasses for the party).
Tengo muchas ganas de verte (I’m looking forward to seeing you -I have a lot of wishes to see you).
Many expressions with tener and hacer indicate a state or condition that is expressed with “be” in English. In English, these are enhanced by “very” in Spanish, they are enhanced by mucho(-a).
Tengo mucho miedo/frío/calor/suerte (I am very afraid/cold/hot/lucky).
Tengo mucha hambre/sed (I am very hungry/thirsty).
Hace mucho frío/calor/viento (It’s very cold/hot/windy).
Verbs + MUCHO
Sometimes mucho is used as an adverb and comes after the verb. In this case, it is always the same and there is no change in gender or number.
He comido mucho (have eaten a lot).
Mi esposo trabaja mucho (My husband works a lot).
¿Mucho Trabajo or trabajo mucho? Both ways are correct though they have two different meanings:
Tengo mucho trabajo – where mucho is an adjective and trabajo is a noun. (I have a lot of work -to do at my job).
Trabajo mucho – where trabajo is a verb and mucho is an adverb. (I work a lot).
The superlative MUCHÍSIMO
You can use MUCHÍSIMO to emphasize that something is MORE THAN a lot. It is like saying “very, very” or “lots and lots of” or “many, many”.
Esta mañana hace muchísimo frío (It’s very, very cold this morning).
Again, the word needs to agree both in gender and number:
Ese candidato necesita muchísimos votos para ganar (That candidate needs lots and lots of votes to win).
Tengo muchísima sed porque corrí 10 kilómetros (I’m very, very thirsty because I ran 10 kilometres).
Hubo muchísimas personas en el concierto (There were many, many people at the concert).
In English you can say “very much” however in Spanish you cannot join those two words together and say “muy mucho”. You either use “muchísimo” or just “mucho”.
The opposite of mucho is poco. Just like with mucho, the adjective poco also needs to agree both in gender and number. Read more about the use of poco
MUY + an adjective or an adverb
MUY is an adverb and means “very” in English. There is only one form of the word muy, it has no masculine or feminine form and there is no singular or plural form either.
You normally use muy before an adjective to increase the intensity of it:
Mi hermano es muy alto (My brother is very tall).
Mi hermana es muy alta (My sister is very tall).
Mis calcetines están muy sucios (My socks are very dirty).
Tus amigas están muy locas (You friends are very crazy).
Estoy muy enojado (I am very angry).
Sometimes we use muy before an adverb (what’s an adverb):
Yo hablo muy despacio (I speak very slowly).
Tú hablas español muy bien (You speak very well).
You never use the word muy by itself. It always needs to be accompanied by an adjective or an adverb.
¿Estás cansado? (Are you tired?).
– Sí, mucho (we cannot say: si, muy).
– Sí, muy cansado (you need to add an adjective though it may sound repetitive).
MUY vs MUCHO exercises to practice
Now it is time you practice everything you have learned about MUY vs MUCHO with our interactive exercises. Remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have about this topic. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?