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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