a lot of (informal lots of) a large number or amount of somebody/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. Grammar Pointmany / a lot of / lots of Many 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 have you got?’ ‘Lots!’ However, they are not used with measurements of time or distance:I stayed in England for many/quite a few/ten weeks. I stayed in England 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, especially in British English, so in formal writing it is better to use many or a large number of in statements. Grammar Pointmuch / a lot of / lots of Much is used only with uncountable nouns. It is used mainly in questions and negative sentences:Do you have much free time? How much experience have you had? I don’t have much free time. In statements a lot of or lots of (informal) is much more common:‘How much (money) does she earn? 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 British English, 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 film (very) much. Word Origin Old English hlot (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lot, German Los. The original meaning was ‘by lot’ and (by extension) the sense ‘a portion assigned to someone’; this gave rise to the other noun senses. The pronoun and adverb uses date from the early 19th cent.