Much, many, a lot of (lots of)

Much, many, and a lot of (lots of) are quantifiers. We use them to talk about large amounts; we don’t know the exact amount.

We usually use much and many in negative sentences and questions:

+ UNCOUNTABLE  NOUN   

We haven’t got much water.

Is there much sand on the beach?

+ COUNTABLE  NOUN         

There aren’t many cans of cola.

Are there many swimmers in the sea?

We use a lot of or lots of in positive and negative sentences and questions.

We’ve got a lot of orange juice.

Hurry up! We haven’t got a lot of time.

Were there lots of people at the swimming pool?

We can use these words without a noun when it is clear what we are talking about:

 I’ve got some money with me but not much.

I’ve got a lot to do today. (x a lot of to do)

Much and many in positive sentences are formal. 

Many of the experiments produced useful results. (formal)

We prefer a lot of or lots of for informal use.

Come on. We’ve got a lot of work to do. (informal)

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