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learn much  
von julianehi, 2016-04-19, 11:25  like dislike  Spam?  109.193.246....
Dear all,

I read the sentence, "We've learned very much," by a student and since I personally would say, "We've learned  many/a lot of things." I'm struggling to find out whether the former sentence just sounds odd to me (with an American background) or whether it is in fact wrong.

Thank you in advance!
At least there are a lot of google hits...  #840675
von Ivy (DE), Last modified: 2016-04-19, 11:40  like dislike  Spam?  
von Windfall (GB), 2016-04-19, 11:40  like dislike  Spam?  
I agree that "very much" sounds strange with "learned" in that sentence, but you can say "we didn't learn very much" and "there is much to learn".
Thank you, you two.  #840680
von julianehi, 2016-04-19, 12:05  like dislike  Spam?  109.193.246....
So you would agree that it is not a matter of "complete disaster" but "We've learned a lot" sounds better?

I agree with Windfall that in the negative sentence it sounds absolutely fine.
Yes,  #840683
von Ivy (DE), 2016-04-19, 12:07  like dislike  Spam?  
We have learned a lot.
Usually, people would say: I've learned an awful lot / a great deal / quite a bit/lot.  #840704
von #nobrand, 2016-04-19, 13:56  like dislike  Spam?  23.16.171...
von MichaelK (US), Last modified: 2016-04-19, 16:24  like dislike  Spam?  
"...learn much" is standard English, sounds elegant and is often used by good writers. But it doesn't work at all with "very." That's why "We've learned very much" sounded odd, as it should have.
Google: "we've learned much"
Google: "i've learned much"

"A lot" is informal.
Very much  #840715
von atemp (US), 2016-04-19, 17:06  like dislike  Spam?  
"very much" as a word pair is reserved for such phrases e.g. Thank you very much , or, as previously stated, in the negative, as in We didn't learn very much.

Better might be We've learned/learnt (so much)/(quite a bit)/(a good deal). Also one might make the plaintive declaration, Oh, but we've learnt so very much!, which sounds a bit quaint and literary but can still be used for effect today.
Thank you all  #840716
von julianehi, 2016-04-19, 17:08  like dislike  Spam?  109.193.246....
This was helpful. I think I'll go with "We've learned much" (it does sound better immediately!) and add that she could also use "so much", "a ton" or anything like that if she wants to stress that it was a lot (btw I forgot to add that she wrote this as a fictitious commencement address to her classmates)

Thank you everyone!

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