I encountered this passive voice sentence in a textbook: “He was influenced too much by Japanese fashion.”
My understanding is that the words “too much” are functioning as an adverb in this sentence.
“He was influenced by Japanese fashion too much.”
“He was influenced too much by Japanese fashion.”
However, it seems strange to say, “He was too much influenced by Japanese fashion.” I can’t understand why it sounds strange to me, however.
If I replace “too much” with a different adverb, it seems to work fine. For example:
“He was quickly influenced by Japanese fashion.”
“He quickly was influenced by Japanese fashion.”
“He was influenced quickly by Japanese fashion.”
“He was influenced by Japanese fashion quickly.”
To add, if I use “much too” the sentence seems correct. For example, “He was much too influenced by Japanese fashion” sounds correct to me. I understand “too much” modifies nouns, verbs, and adverbs, while “much too” modifies adjectives and adverbs based on this post: “much too [something]” vs “too much [something]”
However, I just can’t understand why, “He was too much influenced by Japanese fashion” sounds strange to me.
I think I made a mistake in my thinking. What do you think? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Usage seems to be the opposite of what your feelings tell you (ngram).
The same results is obtained for “influenced quickly” and “quickly influenced”; only the latter is found (ngram).
“Quickly was influenced” is not found.
There is not really a question of thinking involved, therefore there is no mistake in your thinking. It is rather a matter of apprehension of the language (not comprehension) which does not correspond, here an apprehension of order. It is difficult to say why we sometimes have a different picture from what reality shows things to be; such problems disappear progressively and the judgement becomes dependable in the end. Personally, I wouldn’t find that the order you find preferable in the case of the two ngrams is unacceptable, but the order you judge to be incorrect I find normal.