Too big of a sofa

These kinds of expressions akin to measure quantifiers just blow my mind. For me it has to be "too big gulp of whiskey" and "too big sofa". Especially c), it sounds like you placed a part of the sofa in your room, not the entire thing. Can you break down and explain this structure?

a) "Could" is a little bit more difficult of a modal verb because it has many meanings.

b) I took too big of a gulp of whiskey.

c) I put too big of a sofa in my room, so there is no space.


Here’s the relevant "usage note" from, as cited in an answer to a similar question on ELU.

Of is sometimes added to phrases beginning with the adverb how or too followed by a descriptive adjective: How long of a drive will it be? It’s too hot of a day for tennis.

This construction is probably modeled on that in which how or too is followed by much, an unquestionably standard use in all varieties of speech and writing:
How much of a problem will that cause the government?

I’m not going to stick my neck out and say too big of a is "substandard", but it’s definitely "nonstandard", and is normally only encountered in informal speech.

But note that whereas of is optional, but nonstandard, the word a is absolutely essential in this context.

Source : Link , Question Author : Graduate , Answer Author : FumbleFingers

Leave a Comment