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Much, many and a lot.


Much, many, a lot:

"Much", "many", and "a lot of" indicate a large quantity of something, for example "I have a lot of friends " means I have a large quantity of friends.

Much, many, and a lot are quantifiers.

Study the examples below:

How much money have you got? I haven't got much money.
I have got a lot.
I have got a lot of money.
How many students are in the classroom? There aren't many.
There are a lot.
There are a lot of/lots of students.

In the interrogative forms we use:

      • much with uncountable nouns. (money, bread, water...)
        Example:
        How much money/bread/water...is there?
      • many with countable nouns. (students, desks, windows...)
        Example:
        How many students/teachers/desks... are there?

    (See the lesson on countable and countable nouns )

In the negative forms we use:

      • much with uncountable nouns. (money, bread, water...)
        Example:
        I haven't got much money/bread/water...
      • many with countable nouns. (students, desks, windows...)
        Example:
        There aren't many students/teachers/desks...

In the affirmative forms:

In spoken English and informal writing we tend to use:

  • a lot, a lot of, lots of with countable and uncountable nouns.
    Example:
    "How many students are there in the classroom?"
    "There are a lot."
    "How many students are there in the classroom?"
    "There are a lot of / lots of students"..

In formal written English:

  • It is also possible (and preferable) to use many and much rather than a lot of, lots of and a lot in formal written English.
    Example:
    There are many students.
    Much time was spent on studying.

So if you're speaking or writing to friends (informal), use a lot, a lot of, lots of. But if you want to be more formal, perhaps it is preferable to use much and many.

Remember:

In affirmative sentences with so, as or too, we also use much / many.

Examples:
"Carla has so many friends."
"She has as many friends as Sue."
"Kevin has too much money."

Summary:

Interrogative Negative Affirmative
How many books are there?
There aren't many.
There are a lot.
There are a lot of books.
There are lots of books.
There are many books (formal)
How much money have you got?
I haven't got much.
I've got a lot.
I've got a lot of money.
I've got lots of money.
I have got much money (formal)
Exercise on much, many or a lot
See also "countable and uncountable nouns"
See also " a little and a few"
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