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I'm an ABC and I find myself often using 好多. I was talking to my dad yesterday and I noticed that I said it, but something just didn't seem right. Is this correct or does it not make any sense? I'm used to saying this and I'm not sure if I picked it up from my parents. Could it pertain to a certain dialect/region? My parents are from Sichuan and I know some things are said differently there.

I've been taking Chinese courses for a college requirement and I know 很多 is definitely correct. I'm just curious if they are similar/interchangeable or if 好多 isn't correct Chinese.

  • Maybe it's worth noting that in spoken Cantonese, 好多 is used to say 很多. – Léo Lam Jul 28 '15 at 3:06
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    好多 - lots - verbal, 很多 - many - written form – Alex Jul 30 '15 at 20:39
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好 may be used with the meaning of 很. The difference is that it's more colloquial.

Source: myself =P

  • Humorous example of how interchangeable 好 is for 很: 你好坏哦! – Stumpy Joe Pete Jul 25 '15 at 3:12
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Translated to English, 好多 means 'so much', while 很多 means 'very much' or 'a lot'. In the case of 好多 vs 很多, I've actually had no trouble just using whichever one sounds more like what I wanted to express translated in English.

Like Chris said, I would use 好多 when the amount is stunning/overwhelming/impressing/exceeding expectations. It doesn't have to be that much, just more than you thought there'd be, more than you'd like there to be, or more than you imagined.

However, 很多 can also be used in many situations where one might say 好多, just as there are many times 'so much' and 'very much'/'a lot' are interchangeable, and I don't think it matters that much.

I think the main difference is just the connotation. For example, when you say 'I drank so much' vs 'I drank a lot', 'You got so much' vs 'You got a lot', or 'Thanks so much' vs 'Thanks a lot', though the meaning is the basically the same, there's still a sort of difference.

I guess as far as correct goes, if you're talking then it just depends on if it matches what you wanted to say. If you're translating, and you have to write 'so much' but used 很多, though, I think it'd seem off and might be marked wrong.

Pertaining to regions, I have no idea.

I'm also an ABC, or maybe I should be called an ABT because my parents are both from Taiwan.

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I generally agree with Enrico, but I think in general using 好 like this has more of an implication of being impressed than 很.

For example, “她吃了好多肉” has an implication of being impressed with the amount, but I don't read that so much in ”她吃了很多肉“, it's more like a statement. I suspect this feeling is quite cultural, so it may vary area by area.

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In my opinion, 好多 has more personal feelings to it, while 很多 sounds more objective.

For example, you want to express something amazing, you would use 好多. 好多好多狗狗,好可爱哦!

If you want to describe a fact, you go with 很多. 这里有很多狗狗。

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