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I always have trouble when mucho comes between a verb and a noun as in the following translations taken from google translate.

I really like cheese. me gusta mucho el queso

I like a lot of cheese. me gusta mucho queso

In the first sentence mucho quantifies the verb like and in the second sentence it quantifies the noun cheese.

The only difference I can see in the translation is el in the first sentence. Is this to make apparent that mucho quantifies the verb and not the noun as in the second sentence?

If not then, how does one differentiate the meaning between both sentences?

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    The second sentence sounds strange to me as is, without any further context. It seems as if a verb or a preposition has been omitted. Examples: Me gusta (comer) mucho queso, (La pasta) me gusta (con) mucho queso. – Charlie Nov 5 '18 at 7:35
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    One could also imagine the second sentence meaning me gustan muchos quesos – Patricio Nov 5 '18 at 21:33
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Mucho can be both an adverb or an adjective.

An adjective modifies a noun. In mucho queso, the noun queso is modified by mucho, so the phrase means "abundant cheese".

An adverb modifies a verb or an adjective. In Me gusta mucho (el queso), the verb gusta is modified by mucho, so the phrase means "I like (cheese) very much".

The presence or absence of the article el in el queso is not what marks the difference, in itself. What happens is that an adverb cannot go between an article and a noun (that is, you cannot say *Me gusta el mucho queso). If you want to say you like cheese very much, then you say Me gusta mucho el queso. If instead you wanted to say you like having a lot of cheese with your maccaroni, for example, you would say something like Me gustan con mucho queso "I like them (maccaroni) with a lot of cheese".

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    "me gusta mucho queso en mis macarrones" aunque no es algo que diría alguien creo que es un ejemplo gramaticalmente correcto sin tener que meter palabras entre el verbo y la palabra "mucho", como pregunta OP. – Brian H. Nov 5 '18 at 12:43
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    @BrianH. Es cierto, aunque para mí esa frase suena poco natural, casi como si fuese una traducción literal del inglés. – pablodf76 Nov 5 '18 at 15:41
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The difference between your examples is that, in the first one, you express your liking on cheese, as in its taste.

But, as for the second example, the only possible use I can think of is when you're talking about cheese when served with pasta. Say, if asked:

Question: ¿Cuánto queso te gusta en la pasta? (How much cheese do you like with your pasta?)

Answer: Me gusta mucho queso. (I like a lot of it)

It doesn't make the most sense, but I think it's still valid.

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    It is valid, but it sounds a bit awkward. That's why we always want to include prepositions, in order to set the difference clear. "Me gusta CON mucho queso" – FGSUZ Nov 5 '18 at 14:40

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