Jabber's English Note---027

jabber (jabber)
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Oh, my friend, I cannot thank you too much.

John, I could not thank you too much.

Indeed, I cannot emphasize too much how important English is to us in Canada.

cannot ..... too much

This is a special structure in English, as most TOFEL takers can tell us.
At the first glance, it is quite negative. Actually, it conveys strong positive information. "I cannot thank you too much" means "No matter how sincerely I thank you, I cannot express my gratitude to you."

In my note #26, I used this structure to stress the importance of hands-on experiences. Following my posting, one guest used "cannot ....ENOUGH". Obviously, the guest thought I had made a mistake and tried to educate me the usage that he thought is correct. This can be seen from his capitalizing the word "enough". I am not sure whether "cannot .... enough" is correct or not, but I can assure people that "cannot ... too much" is not wrong.

It is a pleasure to have see so many friends help polish me writings. I cannot thank you too much. ----Zeng(3) Mo(1) Xie(4) Ye(3) Bu(4) Guo(4) Fen(4)!
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2001-8-1 -04:00

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