6

Should I use tiel or tiom before an adjective, adverb or verb?

Vi estas tiom/tiel afabla.

Helpi min estis tiom/tiel afable de vi.

Vi tiom/tiel afablas.

In English, people say "so" in this context.

2

Tiom can be seen as a kind of shorthand for tiel multe:

Dankon, vi estas tiel afabla. (Thank you, you are so kind.)

Ĉu ŝi estis tiel afabla kiel vi atendis? (Was she so kind as you expected?)

Nu, eble ne tiom. (Well, perhaps not that much.)

In other words, whenever quantity is not in the foreground, the difference is negligible.

1

In the examples you give, you'd usually say tiel. If you say tiom it suggests a greater degree.

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