If you are excited about an upcoming event, you will often say you are “looking forward” to it. But if you are incredibly excited about something, is it correct to say, “I am very much looking forward” to it?
It is correct to say, “I am very much looking forward” to something. You can say, “I am very much looking forward to the holiday,” or “I am looking forward to the holiday very much.” Either way, “very much” describes to what extent you are excited about future events.
Let’s dive into this clause and understand when and how to use it. We’ll consider its meaning and alternatives that convey the same message. We’ll also examine quantifiers and how we use them in English.
What Does “I Am Very Much Looking Forward” Mean?
“Looking forward” is a phrasal verb that most often means to be happy about an anticipated event. Therefore, “I am very much looking forward” means that I am very happy or excited about an upcoming event.
The clause needs to be followed by what it is that you are looking forward to in order to make sense. You may say, “I am very much looking forward to meeting him,” which would indicate that you feel a lot of pleasure at the prospect of meeting him.
We use “very much” to describe the amount that we are “looking forward” to something. “Very much” is an idiom that means “to a great degree,” so we use it here to show that we are looking forward to something to a great degree (source). Here, “very” is an intensifier to specify how “much.”
We also use “looking forward” to mean “expecting.” This is usually in the context of believing that something will happen in the future and is especially common at the end of a business letter where the writer would say, “I look forward to hearing from you.” That means, “I expect to hear from you.”
Here, we could also say, “I very much look forward to hearing from you,” if we wanted to underline how eagerly we anticipate the response.
The use of “look forward” to mean “anticipate” or “expect” dates back to the 1600s. The more modern meaning of “anticipate with pleasure” is much more recent, and we have used it since the middle of the 19th century (source).
How Do You Use “I Am Very Much Looking Forward”?
We use “I am very much looking forward” to express our excitement about an upcoming event. We can’t use it independently because we must complete the sentence with either a prepositional phrase that specifies the anticipated event or a gerund phrase (source).
Consider these examples, where we are excited about a specific event and follow “I am very much looking forward” with a prepositional phrase.
- I am very much looking forward to the concert.
- I am very much looking forward to my birthday.
- I am very much looking forward to graduation.
Now consider these examples, where we are excited to be doing something and follow “I am very much looking forward” with a gerund phrase.
- I am very much looking forward to hanging out at the concert.
- I am very much looking forward to celebrating my birthday.
- I am very much looking forward to walking in graduation.
Because “I am looking” is in the present continuous tense, you can only use this phrase in the present. If we wanted to use it in the future or past, we’d have to alter the verb and say one of the following:
- Past: I was very much looking forward to the concert.
- Future: I will be very much looking forward to the concert.
All of these examples would make sense without the “very much,” but we use this quantifier for emphasis, just to underline that we are looking forward to something a great deal.
Although “much” is a quantifier and “very” is an intensifier, when we use “very much” together, it acts as an idiom that emphasizes the great degree.
When Can You Use “I Am Very Much Looking Forward”?
You can use “I am very much looking forward” any time you want to show how you are happily anticipating or expecting some upcoming event. You can speak or write it; it is a fairly formal way of expressing yourself.
It would be familiar to see “I am very much looking forward” in polite correspondence or conversation. Because it’s in the first-person (i.e. “I”), you will usually hear it spoken or read it in a direct written exchange such as a letter or email. You shouldn’t use it in academic writing.
Any time you happily anticipate something, you can say that you are “looking forward” to it. If you want to stress how much you are looking forward to it, you can add “very much” to say, “I am very much looking forward.”
Sometimes a person will use it sarcastically to say they are “very much looking forward” to something but actually dreading it. In this case, the context would make it evident that they were being sarcastic, and they may say something like, “I’m very much looking forward to my appointment with the dentist next week!”
One of the most common uses of “I am very much looking forward” is in informal writing, where we say, “I am very much looking forward to hearing from you” or something similar. It’s a typical sign-off in friendly correspondence, where the writer says in a polite way that they expect to receive a response.
When Not to Use “I Am Very Much Looking Forward”
You wouldn’t use “I am very much looking forward” if you weren’t actually anticipating something with pleasure. You also wouldn’t likely use it in a formal environment because it is a reasonably casual expression.
This phrase isn’t appropriate if your anticipation involves no pleasure. If it’s just something happening in the future, then you wouldn’t use this construction and would rather say, “I’m expecting to go to the concert” or something similar. Also, this phrase is in the first person, so you’d only use it if you are describing your own feelings.
If you aren’t looking forward to something and aren’t trying to be sarcastic, you should say, “I’m dreading it,” or something similar.
Also, if it isn’t appropriate to expect a response to your letter, avoid signing off with “I am very much looking forward to hearing from you” or anything like that.
Using “I Am Very Much Looking Forward” in a Full Sentence
Because “I am very much looking forward” isn’t a sentence on its own, it needs further words to turn it into a full sentence. These can either be in the form of a prepositional phrase or a gerund phrase, both identifying what one is looking forward to.
Let’s consider some examples that illustrate this.
- I am very much looking forward to the keynote address.
- I am very much looking forward to hearing the keynote address.
- I am very much looking forward to having my own apartment.
- I am very much looking forward to Thanksgiving.
- I am very much looking forward to Jane’s graduation.
- Speaker 1: Are you excited to become an aunt?
- Speaker 2: Yes, I am very much looking forward to that.
- Speaker 1: Your upcoming trip sounds so exciting!
- Speaker 2: Yes, I’m very much looking forward to it.
As you can see from the final two examples, the sentence is completed by adding “it” or “that.” This works because the preceding sentence and the context explain what “it” or “that” encompasses.
What Can You Use Instead of “I Am Very Much Looking Forward”?
There are many substitutes for “I am very much looking forward” that you can use in various contexts. We would generally substitute something for “looking forward” and then add a quantifier that substitutes “very much” and specifies how much we anticipate that event.
The best synonym is probably “I can’t wait, ” which implies excitement and anticipation. However, that is casual and conversational, like “I am very much looking forward to,” so you can use it in your circle of friends and family but not in formal settings.
Let’s consider some alternatives you could use. In the context of happily anticipating something, like “I am very much looking forward to having a holiday,” we could use any of the following:
- I can’t wait to go on holiday!
- I’m so excited to go on holiday!
- I am excitedly anticipating going on holiday.
- I am happily expecting to go on holiday.
In the context of expecting a particular outcome, as in, “I am very much looking forward to your response,” we could use any of the following:
- I eagerly anticipate your response.
- I eagerly await your response.
- I expect your response with eagerness.
- I look forward to your swift response.
Some of these sound pretty stilted and aren’t really how people speak, but they are good synonyms if we need to use other words to express the same idea.
We use quantifiers to give more information about how much or how many there are of something (source). We can use them with nouns, as in “some cheese,” or without nouns, as in “not much.”
Quantifiers can be a word or a phrase referring to amounts or degrees of something. You can use them with count and non-count nouns and include words like “many,” “little,” “enough,” “plenty,” “lots,” “some,” and “all.”
Quantifiers don’t specify a precise quantity, like numbers or measurements, and they answer the questions “How much?” or “How many?” We use “How much?” to ask about non-count nouns and “How many?” to ask about count nouns.
You can use some quantifiers for both count and non-count nouns, such as “all” or “some.” Let’s consider some common quantifiers.
|Quantifiers with Count Nouns||Example Sentences|
|many||I received many RSVPs before the production.|
|each||Each child received a certificate.|
|either||Do you like either of these flavors?|
|few||I’ve a few tricks up my sleeve!|
|Quantifiers with Uncountable Nouns||Example Sentences|
|much||There’s not much sugar left in the bowl.|
|a bit||She needs a bit of help to walk.|
|a little||Make sure you take a little time for yourself.|
|Quantifiers for Both||Example Sentences|
|all||She used all the sugar. (non-count)Please pick up all the balls. (count)|
|some||Help; I need some air! (non-count)Can I have some volunteers? (count)|
|a lot of||There is a lot of advice about parenting. (non-count)Jack ate a lot of chocolates. (count)|
|enough||Do you have enough time left? (non-count)Will there be enough sausages for everyone? (count)|
The quantifier in this article is “much,” which we use extensively in English to quantify non-count nouns. We might say, “How much soda would you like?” when pouring someone a drink. Or, “There’s not much left in the bowl” after everyone’s helped themselves to dessert.
We can also use “much” along with comparative adjectives to strengthen the comparison, such as, “She’s much taller than her sister.” We can also add the intensifier “very” to add emphasis. This we’ve already seen in “I am very much looking forward.” Other intensifiers include words like “really,” “so,” “totally,” “completely,” and “extremely.”
This article is written by www.strategiesforparents.com.
To learn more about quantifiers, and “much” in particular, read our article Is It Correct to Say “Much More”?
We’ve examined the clause “I am very much looking forward” and learned how to use it to show that we are happily anticipating an upcoming event. It’s a polite expression that we will often hear in informal English.
It contains the quantifier “much,” which is one of many words and phrases we use to show quantity. Now that we’ve mastered all of this, we can look forward to showing off these new English skills!