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Italian Language/Use if adverb: tanto

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Question
Dear Maria,

Would you please tell me if I am correct to think the following:

The adverb of quantity - “tanto” can mean “much”, “so”, “very”, or “so much” depending on whether it modifies an adverb, an adjective, or a verb.  

The adverb tanto means “much” when used to modify an adverb.

The adverb tanto means “so” or “very” when used to modify an adjective.

The adverb tanto means “so much” when used to modify a verb.


Examples:

“Sei molto gentile ad aiutarmi così tanto!”
(You are very kind to help me so much)
I am thinking that in this sentence the adverb tanto means “much” because it has been used to modify the adverb “così”.


“Lui è tanto giovane.”
(He is so young.   or “He is very young.)
I am thinking that in this sentence the adverb tanto means “so” or “very” because it has been used to modify the adjective “giovane”.


“Sei stata molto gentile ad avermi aiutato tanto.”
(You have been very kind to have helped me so much.)
I am thinking that in this sentence the adverb tanto means “so much” because it has been used to modify the verb “avermi aiutato”


Would I also be correct to think that the adverb “tanto” is placed after another adverb and that the adverb “tanto” is placed before an adjective?

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,


The adverb of quantity  “tanto” can mean “much”, “so”, “very”, or “so much” depending on whether it modifies an adverb, an adjective, or a verb.  

So, 1)the adverb “tanto” means “much” when used to modify an adverb as in “Sei molto gentile ad aiutarmi così tanto!”(You are very kind to help me so much); 2)the adverb “tanto” means “so” or “very” when used to modify an adjective as in “Lui è tanto giovane.”(“He is so young” or “He is very young”); 3)the adverb “tanto” means “so much” when used to modify a verb as in “Sei stata molto gentile ad avermi aiutato tanto”(You have been very kind to have helped me so much).

Also, it is  correct to think that, generally speaking, the adverb “tanto” is placed before an adjective or another  adverb as in “Sei tanto gentile” and  “Vengo tanto volentieri”, where “tanto” is placed before the adjective “gentile” and the adverb “volentieri”.

But in “così tanto”, i.e. when “tanto” is used with the adverb “così”, the adverb “tanto” must be placed after “così”,  as in “Insisteva così tanto nel descrivere il suo progetto che tutti si annoiarono” or “Sei stato così tanto gentile che mi hai commosso”, etc.

Best regards,

Maria  

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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