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Die Politik ist _____ sinnvoll.

(a) viel

(b) wenig

Do both (a) and (b) fit into the blank, and would the meaning be "The policy is very sensible" and "The policy is not very sensible", respectively?

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I dont think you can use viel for the positive connotation of any adjective in general. There might be some special cases where it works, but i can't think of any right now. –  Pasoe May 15 at 8:51

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can't use (a) for the blank. You might be able to use (b) however. If you want to use the sentence as it is, you need to use "sehr" for the positive connotation.

However, that sounds like a literal translation for the sentence. Depending on the context I would translate it differently. An example would be "Die Politik ist vernünftig." bzw. "Die Politik ist nicht vernünftig."

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I know this usage is quite common now, but I really hate it: I can be "vernünftig", my dog can be "vernünftig", sometimes even a politician can be "vernünftig". But things and concepts can't: They have neither the brain nor the consciousness required for this kind of attribute. I think "sinnvoll" is much more "sinnvoll" in this context. –  Landei May 15 at 14:50
    
Have a look at duden.de/rechtschreibung/vernuenftig. The meaning 1b and the examples for 1b. –  Peter Schuetze May 15 at 16:07
    
As I said, I know that it is common usage, and of course the Duden reflects this. By the way, at least in my ears "vernünftige Politik" (Duden-meaning 1b or 2) sounds better than "Die Politik ist vernünftig", which has for me the strange connotation of an conscious mind. –  Landei May 15 at 17:24

The problem with your example is, that you can't use "viel" with any adjective. Instead you use "sehr". So in your example it would be:

Die Politik ist sehr sinnvoll. (The policy is very useful/rational)

or

Die Politik ist wenig sinnvoll. (The policy is little useful/rational. To try a more literal translation, you probably would express that differently)

You use "viel" with Substantives, as in:

Ich habe (nicht) viel Zeit.

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