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drink too much coffee (vs) drink coffee too much

hirashin

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Hello, native English speakers,
Which would be used?
(1a) My father drinks too much coffee.
(1b) My father drinks coffee too much.
(2a) I avoid drinking too much coffee.
(2b) I avoid drinking coffee too much.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

Uncle Frank

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Maine votes for 1a and 2a.
 

johnnyG

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All are correct. My reading is that the (b) examples mean something like "too often", while the (a) sentences are referring to quantity.
 

Winged Scarab

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I agree with Johnny, it seems like the intended context would determine which sets are correct.
 

Lothor

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I'm with Uncle Frank on this one and think that 1a and 2a sound more natural. Yes, you do put 'too much' at the end to indicate frequency and 'too much' before to indicate quantity but with coffee, surely the amount not the frequency is more of an issue?
 

hirashin

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Thanks for all your help.

Uncle Frank, what's "Maine votes"? Do you live in the State of Maine?

JohnnyG, thank you for the interesting view.

Hirashin
 

Uncle Frank

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Yes Harashin , I am from Maine and we are known for our heavy accents and sometimes funny ways we say things. What sounds more normal for me might be very different from other parts of the US. My spelling and grammar were bad enough in high school that I had to take extra English classes for two summers to get through high school. I will say that I did get "A's" in college in my English classes , but I still worry about the quality of my answers .
 

johnnyG

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All are correct. ...
Maybe I should have said "All are acceptable, to me."

@hirashin You might want to be aware that, while I have been doing language stuff for ages, I'm pretty lax when it comes to things/usages as in your examples.

Also, I'm a descriptive rather than a prescriptive person, and I also prefer oral to written. So someone other than me might quote some rules, or at least elements of style, that are counter to what I might say.

What that means is that I have heard your (b) sentences any number of times (to indicate 'too often' or frequency), and I take that as a validation of the usage. I think it's okay, and I understand and all, but...

...if I were tutoring a student, or reviewing the manuscript of a speech/presentation that they were submitting, I'd probably suggest changing (in the (b) sentences) "too much" to "too often."
 

hirashin

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Uncle Frank, thanks for your interesting comment about Maine.

johnnyG, thanks for the further explanations about the difference between "drinking too much coffee" and "drinking coffee too much".

I also like to view grammar in the descriptive way.
 
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