Imagine your friend invites you to the movies. There’s a really great film that you want to see, but you also have a big exam tomorrow. Can you decline the invitation? Is it correct to tell your friend that the exam is “much important” than the movie?
When you’re making a comparison, it is not correct to say “much important.” Instead, you should say “more important” or “much more important” because “important” is an irregular adjective. We must build its comparative form with “more.” So, you should say, “My exam is much more important than the movie.”
Here, we’ll explore the comparative form of the irregular adjective “important.” We’ll look at the instances where you can see “much important” right before an uncountable noun. We’ll also dive into alternatives that will make your English sound natural and contemporary.
What Does “Much Important” Mean?
In modern English, “much important” doesn’t mean much of anything. When using the comparative form of “important,” we say “more important.” If the difference in importance is particularly significant, we can say “much more important.” However, “much important” doesn’t have a meaning on its own.
This is because “important” is an irregular adjective – we can’t just add the “-er” suffix to build the comparative form. So instead, we use the modifier “more” in front of the adjective, so the comparative form becomes “more important.”
- Spending time with your family is more important than career advancement.
If you want to express that something has a lot of importance, you can say that it is “very important” or “quite important.” However, you can’t use the modifier “much” to mean “very” or “quite” with an adjective in this case. This is because we only use “much” to modify uncountable nouns.
- Correct: Time with your family is quite important.
- Correct: Time with your family is very important.
- Incorrect: Time with your family is much important.
So, suppose you see or hear “much important” in contemporary English. There will almost certainly be an uncountable noun directly after this phrase, like “We have too much important research to do before the deadline.” Otherwise, there is a mistake in the sentence!
How Do You Use “Much Important”?
You can use “much important” in specific cases, and you’re more likely to see it in writings and stories from long ago. In the past, “much” was a popular way to show a large amount of an uncountable noun; nowadays, we prefer “a lot of” instead.
So, if you’re talking to an expert with a lot of critical knowledge on a subject, it would sound archaic and strange to say that they have “much important knowledge.” It would sound like you’ve stepped out of a time machine from the past!
Instead, you can say that they have “a lot of important knowledge;” this sounds much more natural and native-like.
This means that the contexts and ways we can use “much important” are limited. There are some detailed rules that we need to follow when we use this phrase.
Let’s look at the specific instances where it’s okay to use “much important” with an uncountable noun. Then we’ll explore the correct way to build the comparative form of the irregular adjective “important.”
When Can You Use “Much Important”?
There is one specific context where you can use “much important.” In this instance, you will always follow “much important” with an uncountable noun, and the sentence will almost always be either in the negative or question form (source).
In older forms of English, however, you might see “much important” followed by an uncountable noun in the affirmative. For example, a knight in a fairy tale might inform the king that there is “much important information” in the letter he has just received.
In this context, where an old, archaic version of English is the norm, you might see “much important” to describe a large amount of an uncountable noun.
Nowadays, we tend to use “a lot of” instead of “much” when talking about a large amount of an uncountable noun. For example, it sounds weird and archaic to say, “The museum houses much important art.” On the other hand, it sounds perfectly natural to say, “The museum is home to a lot of important art.”
When Not to Use “Much Important”
In all likelihood, you will never use “much important” by itself, either in speaking or in writing. If you’re using modern and contemporary English, you shouldn’t use “much important” alone, especially if you want to compare the relative importance of two or more things.
When you want to make a comparison to show which of two or more things has more significance than the other (or others), you should use the comparative form “more important.” You should not use “much important” to show a comparison.
You can use “much more important” to show a big difference between the importance of two things. For example, studying is more important than watching TV, but breathing and sleeping are much more important than studying.
For more information about modifying comparative adjectives, check out our article Is It Correct to Say “Much More”?
Using “Much Important” in a Full Sentence
Remember, in contemporary English, we usually only see “much important” plus an uncountable noun in the negative or question form.
Let’s take a look over some examples of “much important” in such sentences:
- Was there much important information shared at the meeting?
- They didn’t share much important information, but it was good to see my friends.
- Could you find much important equipment in the hall closet?
- No, there wasn’t much important equipment in there, but I found a few good tools.
You’ll notice that none of these sentences are in the affirmative; instead, we can only use “much important” plus an uncountable noun when the sentence is either negative or a question.
You can also see how, in each of these examples, we can easily swap “a lot of” for each instance of “much” – it doesn’t change the meaning, and the grammar is still correct.
What Can You Use Instead of “Much Important”?
When you compare the relevance or significance of two different things, you should use “more important” instead of “much important.” If the difference in importance is quite sizable, you can use “much more important” to show that more significant gap.
When you want to show a large amount of an essential, uncountable noun, you should use “a lot of” in the affirmative. You can use “much important” for the negative and question sentences, although “a lot of” and “any” with the uncountable noun also work well in those cases.
If you want to show that something has a lot of importance, you should opt for “very important” or “quite important” instead of “much important.” Here are a few other ways to express that something is very important:
- Extremely important
- Very significant
- Vitally important
Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
Comparative and superlative adjectives help describe things relative to one another; that is, they explain the relative degree of an adjective. For example, you can think of comparative adjectives with the word “more” and superlative adjectives with the word “most.”
For regular adjectives, you can build the comparative form by simply adding “-er” to the end of the adjective. On the other hand, irregular adjectives should take “more” plus the adjective to make the comparative form.
All comparative adjectives get the linking word “than,” which connects the two things you’re comparing.
For more information about irregular comparative adjectives, check out our article Is It Correct to Say “More Better”?
With regular adjectives, you can construct the superlative form by just adding “-est” to the end of the adjective. You put “most” before the adjective for irregular adjectives to build its superlative form.
All superlative adjectives take “the” just before the adjective and noun because it describes one specific thing that is better, more, or greater than all of the rest.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
To find out if an adjective is irregular, you can usually tell from the number of syllables. For example, if a word has two or more syllables and does not end with the letter “y,” it is probably an irregular adjective. You’ll have to use “more” or “most” to build the correct form.
In modern English, you won’t hear “much important” in many contexts. It is incorrect to say “much important” if you compare the relative significance of two or more things. However, you can say something is “much more important” than something else.
Instead, we use “much” to show a large amount of an uncountable noun. So, if you’re using “much important,” you should add an uncountable noun immediately after that adjective. Also, you should only use “much important” plus a countable noun when your sentence is either negative or a question.
So, did you learn much important information from this article? We certainly hope so!