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Question I know your grandfather very well/much

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I have a little question.

Do you ever say "I know your grandfather very much"?

My intended answer to the J-E translation question is
"I know your grandfather very well", but some students
wrote, "I know your grandfather very much".
Does it sound right?

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

mdchachi

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No it doesn't sound correct to a native speaker but I would be inclined to give your students some credit for this. How are they to know it's "wrong"?
Using a different verb the opposite is true. It's wrong to say
I love/like your grandfather very well.
But it sounds perfectly fine to say
I love/like your grandfather very much.

 

hirashin

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We've been discussing whether to give credit to the students who wrote "I know your grandfather very much".
 

hirashin

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No, never.

And instead of "very" I'd use "really":

I know your grandfather really well.

(tho the situation when this would occur or be true would not seem to be common)
How about these?
I really know your grandfather.
I know your grandfather pretty well.
I know your grandfather quite well.
 
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I would say "I really know (someone)" is a pretty colloquial expression that would only be used in certain circumstances with very subtle nuances. Putting "really" before "well" obviously quantifies "well" i.e how much you know him, but putting it before "know" qualifies "know" which can sound like you are explaining that you genuinely know him, not how much you know them. I can't imagine ever saying "I really know him" if a colleague asked me "How well do you know Dave in the office?"
 

nice gaijin

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Think of it as quantity vs. quality.

quantity: how much do you know about _____?

quality: how well do you know _____?

If you haven't gone over the nuance before I'd use "I know your grandfather very much (X) / well (O)" as a teaching point to show the difference between using those words. Although it's wrong to us "much," it's understandable at least and would be brushed off as a non-native expression.

I would say "I really know (someone)" is a pretty colloquial expression that would only be used in certain circumstances with very subtle nuances. Putting "really" before "well" obviously quantifies "well" i.e how much you know him, but putting it before "know" qualifies "know" which can sound like you are explaining that you genuinely know him, not how much you know them. I can't imagine ever saying "I really know him" if a colleague asked me "How well do you know Dave in the office?"
I agree, saying "I really know ____" qualifies the knowing, suggesting that maybe the listener or others don't really know the person. It's especially apparent in the question form, "Do you really know your grandfather?" which hints that there may be some secret history or double life the listener isn't aware of.
 
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