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I am trying to learn Spanish and I am stuck in understanding the following.

"Mucho gusto" means, "nice to meet you".

However, "muchas gracias" means, "thank you very much".

I know that "muchas" is plural and feminine and "mucho" is singular and masculine, but how does "mucho" in "mucho gusto" become "nice to meet you" but the "muchas" in "muchas gracias" becomes "thank you very much", i.e. "muchas" becomes "very much" and "mucho" becomes not even sure what it means in "mucho gusto".

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You shouldn't try to learn another language based on translations. Your are not automatic translation software, so you'd better try to understand the underlying meaning of the original words instead. So let's see what "mucho" and "gusto" mean:

Mucho: "Numeroso, abundante, intenso."
Gusto: "Placer o deleite."

So we have "mucho" equals "a great amount" and "gusto" equals "pleasure". So "mucho gusto" equals "un gran placer" or, as you say in English, "a great pleasure".

Answering your question, there's no difference between "mucho" and "muchas" beyond the use of the masculine/feminine and singular/plural to match the noun it affects ("gusto" or "gracias"). In both cases it means "a great amount" or "abundant" or "above the standard amount":

"Muchas gracias": My gratitude is above the standard amount.
"Mucho gusto": My pleasure to meet you is above the standard amount.

Your confusion with the translation of "mucho gusto" as "nice to meet you" is that the word "mucho" is not translated. You have translated "gusto en conocerte" instead. Maybe a more accurate but not idiomatic translation would have been "It's very nice [to meet you]", so there you have the word "very" that maybe helps you with understanding the word "mucho".

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  • Additionally : Mucho/Muchas is just the way how the word is conjugated: Mucho Gusto is conjugated as a singular male, while Muchas Gracias is conjugated as a plural female.
    – Mike
    May 29, 2018 at 13:11
  • we can say "mucho gusto" actually means: "very/much pleasured/pleased(to meet you)" and "muchas gracias" means : "thank you very much" while nice to meat you can be translated more towards : encantado(nice) de (to) conocerte (meet you)
    – Mike
    May 29, 2018 at 17:57
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The problem is that you are comparing equivalent sentences that are not exact translations of each other.

Mucho gusto does not translate nice to meet you but it is equivalent.

The full sentence would be Me da mucho gusto en conocerte which would be I feel very pleased on meeting you. Here mucho is very

In the other example muchas gracias does mean thank you VERY much where again muchas is very.

So now you can see that in both cases mucho, mucha means very for masculine and feminine respectively and muchos, muchas are the same but for the plural.

In general mucho means a lot, very, much

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When a person learns with a dictionary, trying to make direct equivalence between expressions, he necessarily encounters problems that should never appear, precisely because languages ​​are not interchangeable.

Communication is not always based on an exact translation of words: in this case, we could think that we are dealing with a robot.

One of the main strengths of a professional translator is experience and continuous reading, skills that allow him to really know both languages: his mother tongue (L1) and the one he intends to translate (L2).

That's why we continually run into problems like this, where you're trying to do an exact match to pass "much" and "many" to English expressions. A clear example that what we have to emphasize is the intention and meaning of what we want to say, and not translate "literally" word by word.

And of course, we cannot forget that the expressions are often completely different between two languages, and there is no point in trying to translate them: we must know both the source language and the target language. Only in this way will we be successful, otherwise we could create a sentence without any meaning. And there are countless examples of this. As an example:

It's raining cats and dogs is equivalent to Llueve a cántaros, and not "Está lloviendo gatos y perros".

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I have that same problem. I guess it's like with any language, one just has to learn it by heart and then implement locale-wise.

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