American English

Definition of lot determiner from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

  

lot

 determiner
determiner
NAmE//lɑt//
 
a lot of (informal lots of)
 
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 a large number or amount of someone or something What a lot of presents! A lot of people are coming to the meeting. black coffee with lots of sugar I saw a lot of her (= I saw her often) last summer. Grammarmany / a lot of / lots ofMany is used only with countable nouns. It is used mainly in questions and negative sentences:Do you go to many concerts? How many people came to the meeting? I don’t go to many concerts.Although it is not common in statements, it is used after so, as, and too:You made too many mistakes.In statements, a lot of or lots of (informal) are much more common:I go to a lot of concerts. “How many CDs do you have?” “Lots!”However, they are not used with measurements of time or distance:I stayed in Ann Arbor for many/quite a few/ten weeks. I stayed in Ann Arbor a lot of weeks.When a lot of/lots of means “many,” it takes a plural verb:Lots of people like Italian food.You can also use plenty of (informal):Plenty of stores stay open late.These phrases can also be used in questions and negative sentences.A lot of/lots of is still felt to be informal, so, in formal writing, it is better to use many or a large number of in statements. Grammarmuch / a lot of / lots ofMuch is used only with uncountable nouns. It is used mainly in questions and negative sentences:Do you have much free time? How much experience do you have? I don’t have much free time.In statements a lot of or lots of (informal) is much more common:She earns a lot of money.You can also use plenty (of). These phrases can also be used in questions and negative sentences.A lot of/lots of is still felt to be informal, especially in writing, so in formal writing it is better to use much, a great deal of, or a large amount of.Very much and a lot can be used as adverbs:I miss my family very much. I miss very much my family. I miss my family a lot. Thanks a lot.In negative sentences you can use much:I didn’t enjoy the movie (very) much.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lot