Use of “too much” in passive voice verb structure

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!

Answer

Usage seems to be the opposite of what your feelings tell you (ngram).

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The same results is obtained for “influenced quickly” and “quickly influenced”; only the latter is found (ngram).

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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.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Lshereenb , Answer Author : LPH

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